Forums Meteors Meteors

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    Bill Ward

    Hi All,

    I hope everyone had a great Christmas.

    A lot of meteor observers seem to chase the glamorous fireballs with wide field of view systems. A while back I came across an add on ebay for some 25mm f1.3 manual lenses. This would give a much narrower field of view on the Watec cameras but having a few older 902H2’s available I thought it might make an interesting experiment so I bought them. Turned out to be a good buy, they were essentially brand new.

    Thus the Narrow field Of View EXperiment was born. It has proved extremely interesting. Some of the brighter meteors, if one is lucky with the fall of the meteor!, show interesting fragmentation and disintegration. However these systems also show the donkey work side of things. The many small, faint meteors that are continuously raining down on the atmosphere. Many of these would be too faint or brief to be easily seen visually.

    The weather has been quite poor here with little observing possible recently. I did get one good night on the 23/24 December. Here’s a short video from 2 of the NOVEX cameras.

    All the best and clear skies for 2019.



    James Lancashire

    Good results there. I seem to remember there was a ‘telescopic’ project of the meteor section though using binoculars and a lot of concentration!

    Your video answers one question which is field of view being approx 14 x 10 deg. Do you automate the detection of meteors the same way as for wider field sessions? What magnitude meteor do you think you’re detecting? Are you plotting both shower events and sporadics?

    Bill Ward

    Yes, a few dedicated observers would use binoculars or even small telescopes in an attempt to get the best possible observations. I’ve caught a few meteors by chance through a small scope and it is quite a sight, I don’t know of anyone who does it now regularly as the technology has eclipsed the telescopic method. That was one reason I though it would be an interesting experiment, just to see how it would compare.

    The software is UFO Capture, just as with wider field observing and if desired the files can be ran through UFO Analyser and UFO Orbit to determine orbits for shower id.

    Magnitude wise I estimate +4 to +6 with the lenses I use. These magnitudes are where visual observations begin to become difficult if not impossible under suburban skies.  The short track length also makes them difficult to pick up visually.

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