Leonids Meteor Trail 18-NOV-2001

Leonids Meteor

This meteor trail photo was taken on November 18th, 2001 with a Leica M6 camera mounted on a motorized telescope tripod. The lens was a Leica 35mm/f1.4 set wide open. The exposure was made on Fuji Superia 800 film for 3 minutes. The image has been manipulated in gimp to greatly increase contrast and crop about 75% of the unwanted area in the frame. The stars do not show trails due the motorized tracking telescope mount.

The camera was aimed high towards the northeast and located at my home 5 miles northwest of Roswell GA. About 15 frames were taken. This is the best of the lot.

Problems I had:

  • I set up the tripod and camera early and covered it with a plastic trash bag. When I came out at 4:30 AM and removed the trash bag I discovered the camera was wet with dew! There was even moisture inside the lens. I spent 15 minutes inside with a heat gun and compressed air drying the camera.
  • To prevent condensation from reforming I used a heat gun to blow hot air over the camera while taking the pictures.
  • There was significant light pollution at my observing site. I should have used shorter exposures. If had it to do over I'd use 1 minute exposures instead of 3.

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