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Re: identifying non-linear meteors?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:11 pm
by carastro
Those last two are quite bizarre.

Re: identifying non-linear meteors?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:49 am
by NWT Ron
Thank you, I appreciate the comments, definitely not fireflies.

While pondering these a couple of things came to mind that I thought may be related.
- it was close to solar midnight locally, the camera was pointed more or less overhead
- I'm at 62 degrees north
- there was some on and off faint aurora

Could the trails be influenced by the geomagnetic field, which would be stronger here and has a greater vertical component? I wonder what they may have looked like had they been photographed lower to the horizon, more edge on.

As I'm not even a student of meteors, I wasn't looking for anything like this, I just wanted a nice picture of a typical meteor, or better yet a fireball, taken edge on.

I'll keep trying for that classical meteor photo, but from now on I'll take a closer look for small faint anomalies.

Re: identifying non-linear meteors?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:50 pm
by Mrs Mangel
I've known meteors to twist but not as much as on your photos. Many of your comments about Photoshop are bang on but those of us who have been editing digital photos for a long time can usually tell the difference between the real and artificial. As a joke, I coloured a photo of a beach Mars-coloured and another one I created a photo of a "galaxy cluster" by creating a negative image of sunspots. Many years ago, my brother and I produced fake ghost photos using film.

Yes, I enhance photos by removing light pollution and increasing the contrast and it shows more detail. It might look somewhat different to what we can see with our eyes. I've never used film for astrophotography but I'm guessing they don't come in ISO 6400. I have had much better "luck" since using high ISO and shorter exposure times. It also helps me distinguish meteors from satellite trails.

My latest photos are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippug ... 8626470961

Most recent ones are near the bottom.

Re: identifying non-linear meteors?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:56 pm
by Mrs Mangel
I've known meteors to twist but not as much as on your photos. Many of your comments about Photoshop are bang on but those of us who have been editing digital photos for a long time can usually tell the difference between the real and artificial. As a joke, I coloured a photo of a beach Mars-coloured and another one I created a photo of a "galaxy cluster" by creating a negative image of sunspots. Many years ago, my brother and I produced fake ghost photos using film.

Yes, I enhance photos by removing light pollution and increasing the contrast and it shows more detail. It might look somewhat different to what we can see with our eyes. I've never used film for astrophotography but I'm guessing they don't come in ISO 6400. I have had much better "luck" since using high ISO and shorter exposure times. It also helps me distinguish meteors from satellite trails.

My latest photos are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippug ... 8626470961

Most recent ones are near the bottom.

Re: identifying non-linear meteors?

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:31 am
by NWT Ron
Thanks for the comments. I e-mailed the International Meteor Organization and they were very quick to get back to me. They're apparently not "non-linear meteors" and they offered up a couple of suggestions (that didn't involve fireflies) that would have been much closer to the camera than meteors, but concluded that the cause of the trails was unknown. Good enough.

So I started to problem solve, but my solution would have required a second camera and photographer at a known distance for a baseline, then if both cameras captured the same anomaly then perhaps a rough estimate of the range could be found.

If something like this happens during the winter then insects, and most birds, could be ruled out.

Anyone on the forum still using film photography?

Re: identifying non-linear meteors? - Solved, maybe.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:11 am
by NWT Ron
Hi, I've taken a look at your photos and liked the content and colour. One of the moon shots in particular with the pale blue background was very eye-catching. You've also managed to get a few meteor shots, I haven't had much luck these past two years. Perhaps if I brave the cold winter nights, film has less reciprocity failure in the cold, I'd have more luck with the winter meteor showers. I'm curious what your UFO shot might have been. Haven't photographed anything that I'd call a UFO as people use the term. Lots of things I can't identify, that fly, and are objects, but nothing that comes to mind as being other-worldly.

Here colour in the sky may be from faint aurora, its hard to get away from it. Its not bright enough to impress the tourists, but it bleaches out the fainter background stars. Its true that I can't get ISO 6400 film, but I have used some B&W ASA3200, I still have an outdated roll of 120 Ilford Delta ASA3200 Professional film. I should see if anything like it is available new. My homemade tracking table isn't very portable, its set up in the back "garden" which allows a vertical view of the sky between the trees and the house. In the front of the house there are lights from the road and the city, while there is more of the sky visible there is also more light pollution.

This morning on the hangar floor I think I found a plausible answer to what made the strange light trails. Crawling on the floor was a giant water bug, the latin name is Lethocerus americanus, reference http://insectsofalberta.com/giantwaterbug.htm They have a very nasty bight.

It is a very large amphibious insect that flies, and I'm sure it flies at night. It was likely attracted by the hangar security light and then crawled into the hangar in the morning. I think they're another species that has recently started showing up thanks to our warmer climate.

I'm speculating that the wings, which I haven't seen unfolded, may reflect light that strikes them at a critical angle. It might account for the unusual trail of light flashes.

Now for an off topic moment, it isn't anything to compare to what Atlantic provinces get this time of year, but our trees are turning to their fall colours. While down south in Alberta they've already had snow, we've been enjoying beautiful weather and daytime temperatures in the mid teens C. The fall weather and the trees shedding their leaves is a couple of weeks later than we'd expect.

Thanks again for the link to the photos.