Leonid Meteor Shower
16-17 November 2009

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2009 Leonid Meteor Shower

In 2009, a small peak of activity was predicted as the Earth passed through a band of particles shed by a comet. Though the moon phase was favorable for viewing, the brief peak was predicted to occur during daylight for the Pacific coast of the U.S. Despite this, we had decent show. Locally, peak activity seemed to happen in the hours just before sunrise.

The photo above is a composite created from frames containing meteors, taken every 45 seconds throughout the night. Place your mouse cursor inside the photo to enhance the meteors (javascript required) and add the outline of Leo, where the meteor shower radiant is located. The glow at the lower left is from the city of Palm Springs, while the glow extending upwards on the right is the zodiacal light, which is from sunlight reflecting off dust particles in the plane of our solar system.

Some video sequences of the frames used for the composite are here:

Date/Time:    16-17 November 2009
Location: Vanishing Point Observatory (OCA Anza Site)
Scope/lens: Sigma 15mm fisheye lens @ f/2.8
Mount: Kenko Sky Memo (modified for movie tracking)
Guider: none
Camera: Nikon D70s (Hutech modified for astrophotography)
Exposure: 30 sec. @ ISO400

Copyright 2009 by David A. Kodama, All Rights Reserved