Thursday, 13 August 2015

Fishing for Perseids

It was one o'clock, the sky was clear, the streetlights had switched themselves off, the deckchairs were out and the camera was set up on the tripod........ Time for the Perseid fireworks display.

HiTech meteor observing equipment

Over the first hour I spotted 13 meteors, mostly short trails and about magnitude 3 in brightness.

Most of those motes of dust were headed towards the direction of Cassiopiea and Auriga.

I Dream of Perseids

Some would say that 10 meteors an hour wasn't that many, but in that hour I was able to wander off into daydreams, or is it "nightdreams"!

Those gaps between the shooting stars allowed me time to dream of past eclipses, of splitting double stars, flying over the Moon and surfing the Milky Way....

I didn't really mind if spotted a meteor or not, to just sit and ponder the Perseids has always been as fascinating to me as actually seeing a Perseid.

I suppose this is how fishermen feel when they sit and wait for their catch.

As if on cue at 2.00am a first magnitude meteor streaked across the square of Pegasus, the brightest of the night, and its trail fit exactly between one side of the square and the other.

Within the next ten minutes I spotted another 10 meteors, mostly heading northwards towards Cassiopea.

 The lurking sea mist
I continued fishing for meteors for another 20 minutes but had to call it a night when I noticed a thin sea mist creeping in from the west... By 2.30 it was all over... the sea mist very soon veiled our village in a thin but effective Perseid blocking filter.

After checking my timed exposures for the night, to my surprise I found one image with a definite meteor trail...  its a small trail but finally I have captured a Perseid..

Perseid meteor near Mirphak

Wishing on the stars... "Night Dreaming"

My first ever vigil of meteor watching was at my grandmother's house. 

It was the late 70's and for many years I used to spend several nights at her house in early August camped out on the garden bench. 

It was great to lie out on the bench, with my shortwave radio collecting signals from the ionosphere, cushions propped under my head, and me looking up, wishing on the stars....

Farewell Perseids
See you next time in 2016

1 comment:

  1. Between light pollution and a veil of cloud which came in sooner here than with you, I saw nothing. Glad to know you had some fun!