Last night (Saturday) the Draconids produced a pretty nice outburst as the Earth passed through clouds of dust left in space by the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, resulting in a short but strong meteor shower. I had my camera outside for approximately three hours, taking pictures continuously (14 sec exposures every 15 seconds), so besides watching parts of the show with my own eyes (while the telescope was working on its own), I also got tens of shooting stars ‘on my memory card’. Unluckily it was almost full Moon, so the sky was very bright, and the Draconids are mostly faint meteors, but I still managed to see 46 of them in 31 minutes, so the outburst was indeed very strong.
Here is the nicest one (cropped) from my pictures, and if you continue further below, you can see animations of meteors leaving persistent trains! (But be patient, the animations are big and they will load slowly…) Check them out, because you do not see such things too often :) I even sent in a report to the International Meteor Organization, to place La Palma on their map. You can also check their results. Continue reading →
The fourth night was finally photometric, with low humidity (8-20%) and stable seeing, so I could observe the targets from our main program. (Yeehaw!) The start of the night was a bit scary though, as the humidity went up to 86 percent during dinner, but then, in one hour it dropped down below 15%. I have never seen such a rapid change in my life. Anyway, just to show something new, I merged some frames together from the footage of the 3rd night, to create photos with star trails.
Thanks to the perfect conditions, the time lapse video of this night is probably the most boring one, but it is still quite nice, I think. And if you watch carefully, you may notice a bright meteor just above the Teide around moonrise. Ok, for the lazy ones, and those, who want to have a look lasting longer than 1/24 seconds, I show you the frame with the shooting star.
This night is not mine, so I am at the residencia, but I have to stay awake if I do not want to mess up my night/day rhythm. Which you do not want to do in the middle of an observing run, believe me…