Friday, August 11, 2017

Perseid Meteor Shower 8/11/2017

   This year's Perseid Meteor Shower is set to peak over the next two nights.  Although the peak rate of 60/hour is spread out over the wee hours of Saturday and Sunday  much lower rates can be detected over a period of 3 weeks surrounding this weekend.
    At 2:00 this morning I set up my camera on the back deck and shot over 700 consecutive 5-second long exposures with the hopes of catching the inhilation of a sand-grain sized particles cast off of periodic Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Got it.
  This year's shower is hampered by the recently full moon whose illumination decreases contrast between the meteors and the background sky. When the above photo was taken the Moon was 3.5 days past full shining at -11 magnitude with an 87% lit disk.   The photo below shows the moonlight encroaching from the right side of the frame.
Full frame of above photo
    Meteors weren't the only things zipping by.  Also in the sky were........

Jet  with its flashing beacon


Andromeda Galaxy encircled
   Late in the observing session my camera caught a second Perseid in the same field of view as the 2 million lightyear distant Andromeda Galaxy,

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