Saturday, January 5, 2008

Quadrantids and Orion The Mighty Hunter



UPDATE: Scientists have revised their probability of asteroid 2007 WD5 hitting Mars to a 1 in 40 chance down from a 1 in 28 chance estimated January 2nd. Asteroid 2007 WD5 is expected to miss Mars by 18,641 miles.


People I'm soo happy! Got my first image of a Meteor, a Quadrantids meteor no less. Left my house at 12:30 am Friday morning and headed out to a predetermined spot I had scoped out earlier, just on the outskirts of town. Had done my homework, read the instruction manual on the camera, had an escape plan in case a mugger saw me on the side of the road at 1 in the morning and decided to make me their next victim and I had me some star charts and a drink, don't want to get dehydrated. So I get to my site, get out of the car and as I unfold the tripod one of the legs falls completely out, I'm looking at it on the ground in disbelieve, this can't be good I'm thinking, so trying to make it all better I stick it back in and for the rest of the night I forget its not permanently attached and every time I lift the tripod to move it, the leg falls out again and again.... and again. At least the weather co-operated, only about -12c.

Had the camera pointed at the radiant, but the two hours I was there only saw about 5 meteors, all short, by the time the radiant had risen above the horizon the peak was over. The Quadrantid link above has some cool facts about meteor showers, for instance did you know that the average meteor is the size of a pea and weighs less then 1 gram? Or did you know that meteors become visible at an average height of 55 miles, and nearly all burn up before 50 miles altitude?, probably cause they're travelling between 50,000 and 165,000 mph.



After I had set up the camera and the broke tripod, I decided to look around at the magnificent sky, right behind me Orion the mighty hunter was stunning, It was awesome, one of the reasons I got into astronomy in the first place, looks so beautiful at a dark site, his faithful hunting dogs Canis Major and Canis Minor helping Orion fight Taurus the bull and chasing Lepus the hare.



There is no way I can put into words the feelings I had that morning, the beauty of the early morning sky, the quite, it's moments like these I thank God for putting everything in just the right place. I'm going to leave you with.... that's right another GIF, this one I spent a lot of time taking and setting up, got one light just right so it looks like the Sun is rising off in the corner, looks surrealistic, hope you like!

34 comments:

Swubird said...

Bob:

Great shots. You should see the way your images show up on my new iMac big screen - fills the whole screen - super fantastic!

Max-e said...

Hi Bob
Thanks for stopping by at my blog. Been browsing through your old posts and have found your site very interesting. My wife and I were into astronomy many years ago and I was dismayed to see how much I have forgotten. This will probably rekindle my interest.

self taught artist said...

bob johnson i was so happy to see this post today, such verve and wonderful descriptions/photos. your enthusiasm was like taking a vit c pill. thanks for sharing!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, I never now how these images are going to show up, on my crt desktop they are always dark, on my laptop lcd always light, I'm thinking more people have lcd screens now, by the way very nice you have an iMac big screen, nice computer!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi max-e, it is cool you and your wife were into astronomy, hope I am able to get you back in again

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Paula! Hard not to excited about something so exciting to me.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Bob, AMAZING images!!! I'm happy you saw such a vivid meteor shower and glad you shared it with us. It takes patience to wait for them to shoot down. :D

I had no idea meteor showers were so small in size.

Hugs, JJ

Bob Johnson said...

Hi and thanks JJ!! I't was a real adventure to say the least.

Swubird said...

Bob:

You are absolutely right, the LCD images are nice and bright. The high-meg star fields were excellent - plenty of detail. As a matter of fact, the clarity was amazing - even down to a point. No shake at all. You must have used a great mount and drive. There was some air glow, as expected, but they definitely weren't over exposed. They were just right.

The sunset picture shows up on my screen like a piece of art. Nice and peaceful. I could look at it for hours. It's too bad these GIF's won't transfer to a picture frame viewer - that would really be cool.

As far as my giant Tyrannosaurus rex shot goes, I had to rummage through a box of old pictures I had taken twenty years ago (film). I tore everything apart looking for it. Finally, I found it, scanned it, cropped it, enhanced the color, and uploaded it to the GIF program. The result was definitely cool. I can't thank you enough for bringing that GIF program to my attention.

Susanne in Key West said...

This is a great post, Bob!

You write so well and understandable also for a foreigner, like me..LOL..thanks for this interesting knowledge that you share with us! The pictures are great!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi swubird, the gifs are way cool, I wish they had a viewer for them , your T-Rex is very cool, gotta love those water animations, I'm animating everything in site, it is amazing what works,lol. The camera just sat on my broke tripod, but the key is I was a little out of town and was able to get detail at only 30 second exposures, thanks for the compliments!

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Susanne, thanks! I do what I can to share what is so cool.

Lynda Lehmann said...

Another beautiful GIF, Bob, with mystery, to boot. And a wonderful post. I didn't know those meterorite facts.

Glad you had a plan, being out in a remote place so late at night, and I admire your tenacity. I'm sure it was overwhelmingly beautiful. How does your camera battery work at such cold temps?

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Lynda! The reason I didn't get more meteor shots is the battery stopped working after a couple hours, I was prepared to go till it got light.

kml said...

Hi Bob - you had me in stitches with the tripod leg - I thought it was only me who did those stupid things - and with expensive equipment too. I would love to know what your escape plan was - I would have had my .357 revolver strapped on - they're not getting my stuff! We also have a lot of coyote in our area and I don't trust them either.

Glad you were able to enjoy your evening - your night skies shots are great - the meteors are quite visible and I love the light in your special effects sunrise!

Kathy

DrowseyMonkey said...

Very cool! I'm so happy for you...it sounds like you had a lot of fun doing that!

Those images are amazing!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Kathy, the tripod leg thing I laugh at now, I can't believe I did it over and over, try moving a tripod you can't lift over uneven snow,lol. My escape plan was to be by the car door which was ajar grab the camera and the tripod and get outta dodge, I was able to see far in all directions except behind me where it was dark and no roads and where monsters hide out, amazing what I'll do for a meteor shower.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks drowseymonkey, it was a fun experience I'll not soon forget!!

The Fool said...

Hey Bob I had a great night too, perfect weather and not even too cold, though that wouldn't have stopped me. Hey great job on the photo.

The Fool
newfrontiersblog.blogspot.com

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks the fool, love your name, glad you were able to get out, it is a special time meteor showers, hope you got to see lots.

Anna said...

Bob, wow you did it! These are really good shots, and thanks for marking the sky, it really helps to learn. Love water reflection gif, looks like collapsing power post into the water stream. So are you enjoying your new camera? Anna :)

Oswegan said...

Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

~Oswegan

The Uneasy Supplicant said...

Bob
Great post! I can feel your passion. Great photos! Love the last one! Nice to see the artistic side bursting forth from the astronomer! Beautiful sky! We haven't had any clear nights for quite a while so no chance for a meteor show :-) Oh well.
Take care.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Anna, thanks! I'm enjoying the camera very much and thanks for all the tips!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks oswegan!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JD, lots of meteor showers to come this year, I think 7 more to go, maybe you'll be lucky to catch one of them.

Will said...

Hi Bob! Glad you had clear skies to get your photos. It looks really flat in some of your pictures. I guess you could see a mugger coming from a ways off? Is it really a concern there?

-Will

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Will, very flat, mugging is not really a problem, but better safe then sorry!!

Livingsword said...

Ohh sure now they downgrade the possibility of the asteroid impact, and I thought I was doing so well in the Fantasy Asteroid Mars Impact on Sportsnet….LOL

Your suffering with the tripod is rather humorous from afar, perhaps it is your excellent description or more likely I need work on my sympathy! LOL

An average meteor is the size of a pea…. very interesting…does it have about the same nutritional value? Peas are not my favorite…LOL

Bob I just love the passion in your descriptions of the creation….I like the way you describe the “faithful hunting dogs”, something you could never say about cats…faithful that is…I thought a bit of controversy would be nice…LOL

It is amazing how you can see God’s “finger prints” all over everything… It is such a pleasure to be a CSI, Creation Scene Investigator…. :)

Wild GIF!! I thought we were getting enough rain in Vancouver…LOL

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks livingsword, your too funny, the tripod thingy, wasn't funny at first, but I thought after it fell out for the 3rd time, I just had to laugh, it was either that or cry. I know what you mean about dogs, my cat could never be described as faithful, I like your take on CSI, Creation Scene Investigator.

Livingsword said...

Bob your description of events is so vivid, it makes me feel like I’m there (better than a “first person shooter” LOL).

It’s dark, freezing and you are wrestling with your tripod, not fun, but you describe it in an admirable manner, I like that…plus your excellent witticisms…

You balance the more technical aspects with down to earth personality, very nice gift….

My last dog was a husky-lab cross, she was a bit crazy but loyal, of course she knew she was omega dog..LOL Cats can also be nice pets, they actually quite like me but they are not as social as dogs, and I am a very social guy…

I think I am going to use the CSI line on my next header for my Creation blog…

Max said...

Hey Bob!

This is great! I am so happy for you! The image is great; I never saw anything like it....
LOL LOL I loved the way you described the tripod (failled) setup LOL LOL *nodding*.
The photos are incredible, I must congratulate you: congrats! Indeed, God has blessed us with everything below, around and above us :).

Cheers

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Max! it was quite an adventure, I am pretty excited about the meteor pic for sure.

Tatiana said...

Thank you for the beautiful captures Bob, and I was so sorry that we had clouded sky + fog and there was nothing to be seen :( let alone captured with camera. Oh well, better luck next time (keep hoping :))
Tatiana