A composite image captures 34 Geminids

December 18, 2009 10:21 by scibuff

Although the maximum of the annual Geminid meteor shower has well passed, and despite that the Geminids might not have been as numerous as the summer Perseids, spectacular photos of greenish meteor trails keep surfacing every day. After Wally Pacholka’s breathtaking fireball over the Mojave Desert featured at the Astronomy Picture of the Day, another great shot of the recent meteor shower, this time from Australia, appeared today in the most famous gallery of our universe.

At least 34 meteors are included in this composite image as they rain through Australian skies during the annual Geminid Meteor shower - Credit: Phil Hart

At least 34 meteors are included in this composite image as they rain through Australian skies during the annual Geminid Meteor shower - Credit: Phil Hart

At the end of three days of astrophotography at the Leon Mow Dark Sky Site in Victoria, Australia, Phil Hart captured about 34 Geminids in the composite image above. For two hours, Phil’s Canon 5D MKII set at 3200 ISO kept taking 8 second-long exposures through a 24mm f1.4 lens, all on a Vixen GP-DX equatorial mount. The resulting image is a composite of those 8 second shots stacked against a single 2 minute exposure capturing surrounding stars and the Milky Way through the constellation Orion and Canis Major with Sirius at the top. The image may seem to be inverted to those of us who are used to the sky viewed from the northern hemisphere. Of course, having been taken in Australia, the constellations appear upside down.

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