Geminid Meteor Train

April 28, 2007


Provided and copyright by: Valentin Grigore, SARM-The Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy
Summary authors & editors: Valentin Grigore

The photo pair above shows the remnant of an impressive fireball -- a meteor train. This colorful train was observed in the constellation of Auriga and occurred during the Geminid Meteor Shower of December 13/14, 2006. It was photographed from Priboiu-Targoviste, Romania. Persistent trains for Geminid meteors are very rare. The train of this -10 magnitude fireball (about 230 times brighter than Venus) was visible with the naked eye for around 2 minutes. Initially, it was very bright -- approximately 0 magnitude or about as bright as the bright star Capella in Auriga (top center). Shortly there after it took on many different colors, from white to mauve, then through the colors of the spectrum. I didn't photograph this captivating train until after about 1 minute of naked eye observations at which time it had become quite distorted. This photo pair shows how the train evolved in just a few seconds.

Each of the two photos was exposed 30 seconds, with a lens of 50 mm, at f/1.4, using Konica VX400 film.

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