I usually do not go out chasing meteors unless conditions are almost perfect and, the night falls on the peak of the shower. Yesterday was the exception. After having a long string of time without out going out and doing some astronomy it was time to get out and see what I could observe. The skies were one of the best I have seen all year. A cool, crisp night with a low dew point is a rarity in August.
I set up several cameras with wide angle lenses at 11:30 pm to see if I could get in on the tail end of the Perseid Meteor Shower which peaked several days earlier. Two and a half hours later I was quite pleased with what I saw throughout the night.
Visually I logged 84 meteors, with only 8 being sporadic (they were no where near the radiant). Most of them were very quick and short in duration. I only saw one really bright fireball in the east which lit up the sky for about 2 seconds. I was hoping that I had captured some of these photographically.
Here is a composite of what I captured, with the facts underneath it.
The camera was a Canon 20d with a Nikon 20mm lens set at f/3.4. Each exposure was for 30 seconds, controlled and captured by Images Plus software.
I captured 230 frames with 12 of them showing meteors. One was sporadic, and the others were Perseids. All of the 12 frames were combined into this one image and tweaked in Photoshop. At the bottom of the image is the beginning of the fireball that I mentioned going out of the frame.
All in all it was one of the best meteor watching nights I have ever had!