Round 3 Title Stories voting reminder and SW3 Meteor Shower

A quick reminder that the voting for Round 3 of the Title Writing Prompt challenge closes at Noon, this Sunday, June 12th. You can find the poll and links to the stories in THIS post.

Now, then . . . meteors. This was the headline from one news outlet for the Tau Herculids meteor shower (May 30th or May 31, depending on your time zone): The most powerful meteor storm in GENERATIONS could light up skies above North America – but NASA cautions it will be an ‘all or nothing event’. Others, like THIS article from Australia, were more measured (and informative).

The weather was looking iffy for my location, but at around 11 pm — about 45 minutes before the show was scheduled to begin — the sky cleared up. Not crystal clear, but clear enough.

The above was the second photo I took at the time it was supposed to start. It’s very faint, but if you enlarge the photo and zoom in, you can see a diagonal trace in the lower right quadrant of the picture.

It’s more visible if processed differently . . .

It’s possible the trace was left by a satellite during the exposure time, but because the two ends are fading, I think it suggests a meteor rather than a satellite.

The first photo also had a faint, thicker (wider), and much shorter trace, also probably a meteor, but the photo is out-of-focus. By the time I snapped this next photo, I knew the show was going to be a dud . . . but I stayed out there for the projected duration of the ‘storm’.

Again, what looks like another short trace (green) near the top of the photo and about 1/3 of the way in from the left side. Did you also notice the round red cloud-like globs? Here, you can see them better in this photo (one of many like it).

Some people will attribute those ‘apparitions’ to supernatural origins; ancestors visiting, aliens, angels . . . but the explanation is more mundane. I was wearing my red headlamp (to preserve my night vision) and I forgot to close off the eyepiece, hence, as I looked down at the camera, the light from the headlamp probably leaked in through the eyepiece.

There is another possible meteor on the left edge almost halfway up (a green streak). That’s not to be confused with the more vivid streaks on the lower edge . . . those are fireflies (actual fireflies, not Serenity).

By the time I snapped this photo, the window for the most spectacular show in generations had passed . . . but I figure I would capture the Big Dipper.

The light leaking from the lower right is from the lights in Marion’s business areas. You might see the Big Dipper easier if I remove some distractions . . .

The above is probably closer to what you would see right after you walk outside and before your eyes have adjusted to the darkness.

The next two photos are of the same location but at different exposure length.

The orange/rust tint is from a street light a house down from me. If I aim the camera lower and looking South, and leave the shutter open a bit longer, I get this, and that’s a combination of my headlamp and the street light . . .

For them who might want to look at these in SmugMug, this is the LINK. They’re not great photos, but then it wasn’t a great show.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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