The Perseid Meteor Shower 2005
Below are images of both Perseid and sporadic meteors taken on the nights of 7/8, 8/9, 10/11 and 11/12 of August 2005.
All images were taken with a Canon 300D DSLR camera, riding on a Losmandy G-11 mount. The camera was controlled with a laptop computer to take 60 second exposures with a short a gap as possible.
Click on any image to see a larger version.
Click for full-size image A bright Perseid streaks across the constellation of Auriga in the dawn sky. The bright star next to the meteor is Capella, the Pleiades and Hyades are also visible. This image appeared on the website on 11th August 2005. Taken at 03:19UT on 11th August 2005
Click for full-size image A bright sporadic meteor starts near the famous Sword-Handle double cluster (M33/34) in Perseus and streaks into Andromeda, taken at 01.35 on 8th August. Although this meteor eminates from the Perseid radiant, it is far too long to be a Perseid so close to the radiant. The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) can be seen just above the end of the meteor trail. Taken at 01.35UT on 8th August 2005
Click for full-size image A very short Perseid meteor right on the radiant. The greenish trail is just to the left of the Sword-Handle double cluster in Perseus. A good illustration that closer to the radiant, the shorter the meteor appears. This perspective effect can be explained with an everyday analogy. Imagine that your are standing on a bridge over a motorway. The lanes are parallel but appear to dissapear to a point on the horizon. The cars travelling towards you are equivalent to the particles in the Perseid stream in that they appear to come from the vanishing point (or radiant). The Perseid particles (typically the size of a grain of sand) are also travelling in parallel paths as the Earth ploughs into the stream. Taken at 02.19UT on 9th August 2005
Click for full-size image Scudding clouds don't quite mask this sporadic (or random) meteor as it eminates from Cygnus, across Vulpecula, and ends in Delphinus. Taken at 01.02UT on 11th August 2005
Click for full-size image Another sporadic(!) meteor is captured near Alpha Pegasi. The three lines are not (unfortunately) three Perseid meteors but lights from a small plane. Taken at 01.54UT on 11th August 2005
Click for full-size image Spot the Perseid! A faint one is captured on the Pegasus/Pisces border. Look for a faint green streak. Taken at 02.14UT on 9th August 2005
Click for full-size image This Perseid can be seen on the right of the image, below the diamond pattern of Delphinus. Cygnus is more central, and this meteor is travelling parallel to the 'axis' of Cygnus, as so many Perseids do. To illustrate how difficult it is to capture meteors on film or CCD, this meteor was seen by several people and estimated to be twice as bright as Vega! Taken at 21.45UT on 11th August in the garden of Sir Patrick Moore, in Selsey, during a Sky at Night 'Perseid Party'.