Perseid meteor stream over Kolonica

From Kolonica planetarium into the Perseid radiant

Welcome to the Kolonica Observatory, Slovakia, located in the Dark Sky Park Poloniny. Just this place was in August 2018 perfect center for observing annual Perseid meteor shower caused by debris of comet Swift-Tuttle’s nucleus. The celestial show was amazing as usual, bringing even some of spactacular fireballs. Here comes photographic testimony of whole shower, captured between 6th and 14th August 2018.

From total 468 meteors captured during the 8 nights, there are 149 Perseids used in the full sky version. The faintest were about 3rd magnitude, the brightest one was fireball on August 12, with magnitude about -9. Meteoroids enter in Earth’s atmosphere with velocity about 59 km/s, causing light phenomena in high atmosphere, typically between 160 and 80 kilometres abouve the ground, and also colours of vaporising gas around the meteoroid. As layers of the meteoroid abrade and ionize, the colour of the light emitted may change according to the layering of minerals. For the Perseids, most typical is green color when entering the atmosphere and yellow-purple if the meteoroid gets lower in the atmosphere. Thus the brightest meteors are always most vivid.

Enjoy the virtual reality…

Perseids 2018 over Kolonica – fulldome

The a careful eye won’t miss another fact – while viewing the full sky image, you can notice not from all meteors can be tracked the radiant in the same place of the sky. The radiant of Perseid shower slowly moves in the sky during a week period due to changing perpective of the direction of the meteoroid stream. Because most of meteors in the image were captured 2 nights around the maximum peak, only few have different trajectories in the sky (they were captured a week before the maximum). Of course, you can also notice a distribution of the meteors: the reachest area for them is around north sky pole, closer to the Perseus, which is caused by whole night visibility of this area. Other areas in the sky were visible only part of the nights so many meteors fell below the horizon.

For the foreground image was used Canon 6D Baader IR modified with Samyang 24 mm, f2.8, ISO 10000 and 15s single exposures (panorama). Meteors were captured on two bodies 6D with Samyang 12 mm, f2.8, ISO 10000, pointed to south and north during all 8 nights to avoid a „blind area“ and capture as many meteors as possible. The meteors were registered to the foreground image (taken on 13th August 2018) one by one, trying to preserve the true colors and brightness among each other. Together with photography itself, the total time of work on this panoramatic shot(s) was over 140 hours. So definitely one of the most time-consuming photographic work in my life 🙂

Perseid meteor stream over Kolonica

Perseids 2018 over Kolonica – full sky

Perseids 2018 over Kolonica Observatory