Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Meteor Light Show: The 2010 Geminids

The Geminid Meteor Shower may well have been 2010's very best! How many meteors do you see? And notice the meteor radiant around the constellation Gemini?

It took until around 3 am, but the clouds finally parted and we did indeed get to enjoy a beautiful Christmas meteor light show as it were. My preferred dark skies location with a nice foreground got completely clouded out and we ended up near Tie Siding Wyoming. I stayed out taking pictures until the morning twilight was killing off too many stars and we got home around 6 am. What a kick!

Shot Notes: This is a composite image of all the meteors I captured between 2:56 a.m. and 3:34 a.m. Each streak is added by lightness blending mode in CS5 much like star trails stacking is done. The camera was locked down on the tripod the entire time weighted by a bag of rocks to protect against the crazy wind. Each exposure was for 24 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 2500. 13 exposures were used in the composite (this time series was a total of 73 exposures). The camera was aimed at the meteor shower radiant to get the most Geminids possible in order to show off how aligned meteors of the same shower really are.

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