For observers of meteor showers, the New Year offers a reliably strong display with the Quadrantids. These meteors appear to radiate from a point in a now defunct constellation from antiquity called Quadrans Muralis, and the radiant lies just north of Bootes.
This year, rather than observe visually, I set my camera on a standard photographic tripod and rattle off a steady flow of 20-second exposures on th emorning of maximum, January 4. My camera was a Fujifilm X-M1 at a setting of 800 ISO, and I was using a fast lens too – a Samyang 12mm at f2. My location was on the East Kent coast in the UK.
Next morning I used Photoshop Elements with its companion program Adobe Bridge to sort through the frames to find my meteors. So far I have found nine Quadrantids and a couple of non-shower meteors (sporadics).
I also used a piece of software called Star Trails on my Mac to stitch all the frames together into a movie, and you can see that on YouTube. It is best viewed full-screen.
See if you can spot any of the meteors – and don’t get fooled by the very may aircraft trails. Meteor trails are gone in a flash since each was only caught in a single one of the nearly 750 individual images.
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