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Meteor Shower
2015 years Perseid


As you maybe know, a meteor shower is something you can see at the night sky at the same time every year. This one is the Perseid and it has it's peak around the 12th of august. Some people say it's looks like snowflakes coming down from heaven. But normally it comes just one to hundred per hour. They have it's origin from dust or debris in the space. There are lot of debris out there, but times like this it's more concentrated, the dust are from an earlier comet passage and it looks that it's coming from the constellation Perseid. The debris is grains of millimeter size but often much smaller, and it burns up high in the atmosphere, much higher than the aircrafts fly. Normal speed can be 10 to 30km per second but Björn Gimle informed me that the Perseids speed are more like 60.4 km/s when they collide with earths atmosphere.

Some data:
All photos are from 8th and 9th of august 2015. Camera an old Canon 5D with full frame sensor and the optics is a Russian built Zenitar lens, a fisheye 16mm set to f4. Iso set to 800 and exposures are in the beginning 5, 10 and 20 seconds, later when it's darker exposure are set to 30 seconds, the longest I can have without having star trails with this setup that doesn't have a motor driven mount. No moonshine this evening.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 20:34, northwest direction, the lights in background from Stockholm City, 30 kilometers away.

Here we are preparing for the evening and night. August is a nice period, the beginning of the autumn it's still warm and you can stay outdoors for a long time.

We are not only doing visual looking for meteor showers, we also want to take some photos of it. Cameras, mounts and lot of batteries. We where six astro lovers up here on the mountain. This time I could notice following cameras: Canon, Nikon and Panasonic.

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

Here are Gunnar doing some focus test (animation).

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

Björn's red light doesn't destroy your night vision so all flashlights normally has this color when you doing visual observation.

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

Gunnar has got his equipment working.

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

Now we has started our visual observation. Where are the meteors?

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

Look there, what was that?

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:11, in Sweden we now have UT + 2 hours (summertime), south direction.

If you look carefully you will see one or two meteors or maybe it's a satellites. The photos to the right are zoom ups and contrast enhanced crops of the main photo.

Later I will examine it more carefully, but I think the upper one is a satellite and the one down is a meteor. But it could not be a Perseid meteor because it has the wrong direction.

After midnight it will be a higher chance to see meteors, because then we face the forward direction of earths orbit. That will be UT (Universal Time) 23:00 in our location, Stockholm Sweden.

Analyze by Björn Gimle (upper image):

For the long track UT 21:11:43 (-83s) I find no known satellite. With the help of the program ObsReduce and identified three stars I have measured accurate positions for the track's start and end (two positions in the middle overrated I graphically to find the right reference stars). These measurements (and own points) can be directly imported into HeavenSat.

A line extended backwards going very close to Perseids radiant (yellow dot). I put the map's center on the extended line of the row to avoid large circle of curvature.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower
2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

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2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

As always when you try to observe the sky there are clouds, but nice to look at :-)

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:20, southwest direction.

There was an another event, not only one but two crossing each other! It looks like satellites trails.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:22, southwest direction.

Once again, two crossing trails. I'm sure they are not meteors, but satellites.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:23, northwest direction.

What's this, maybe a rotating satellite?

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:27, west direction.

An aircraft, you will se more of them but it's easy to discern them from meteors.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower 

 

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:30, south direction.

Another satellite trail.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower 

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2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:31, south direction.

Satellite trail.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:40, south direction.

Satellite trail.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:42, south direction.

Two satellite trails?

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower
2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:48, south direction.

Ouh! Did we have a visit from him up there?

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 21:53, southwest direction.

More satellite trails.

Analyze by Björn Gimle:

  • Satellite name: SL-16 R/B
  • International designation: 1987-027B
  • Number: 17590
2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

Gunilla examine the sky through her binoculars.

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:07, zenith direction.

Now the camera is in position to look right up in the sky, two satellite trails.

Analyze by Björn Gimle (upper image):

  • Satellite name: Worldview 1
  • International designation: 2007-041A
  • Number: 32060

Analyze by Björn Gimle (lower image):

  • Satellite name: Sl-8 R/B
  • International designation: 1990-111B
  • Number: 21015
2015 years Perseid Meteor shower
2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

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2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:12, zenith direction.

Another two satellite trails hiding in the clouds.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:20, east direction.

Here we have the directions to the constellation Perseid, it looks that Perseid meteors come from this point, but better to look 90 degrees to right or left.

Analyze by Björn Gimle (lower image):

  • Satellite name: Resurs P2
  • International designation: 2014-087A
  • Number: 40360
2015 years Perseid Meteor shower
2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:22, east direction.

Analyze by Björn Gimle:

The first of Lars images ("22:22 UT") which I analyzed proved to be a Chinese cz (The Long Marsch) 2C rocket from 2014, with catalog no 40287th. Brightest star under the satellite track on the detail picture is Tau Pegasi.

  • Satellite name: CZ-2C
  • International designation: 2014
  • Number: 40287
2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

 

 

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2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:34, southwest direction.

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:36, south direction.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:37, south direction.

This is for sure a satellite, because you can see it on the two following photos also (only the first photo here). A timespan of 3 minutes and a meteor has a lifespan less than a second.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:38, south direction.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:42, zenith direction.

Analyze by Björn Gimle:

  • Satellite name: 2a+b and 1a+b, Iridium 77
  • International designation:
  • Number:
2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower 

UT: 22:43, zenith direction.

Now we are close to midnight and we could visually see many flashes coming from meteors, but not many catch on photo, maybe this one is a Perseid meteor, but the directions isn't correct so maybe an another meteor.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:53, east direction.

Another aircraft. The last hour we have lain down on the rock and looked up at the starry sky, what a wonderful evening and night!

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 22:55, east direction.

A typical aircraft, you see it on the dotted line because of the flashing lamps.

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

 

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

 

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

A last look at the stars before we go to sleep. You can see the moon rising between the trees.

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

UT: 23:18, east direction.

In the center low, Pleiades rising above the trees.

I must ask my friend Björn Gimle if he could tell us something about all those satellites, he knows everything about them! If you have deeply questions about satellites, here is his homepage: http://www.algonet.se/ ~b_gimle/

Thank you Björn very much for all the satellite information! Sorry that I forgot to adjust the camera clock after atomic time, I normally always do that. Now all time stamp have to be subtracted by 83 seconds.

 

2015 years Perseid Meteor shower

13th August, north east direction.

A couple of days later I took these photos from the balcony, not a dark place, but still possibly to do astrophoto. This was at the maximum.

 

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