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Finally: Perseids 2015 at Revest du Bion, Southern France

Meteors Posted on Sat, January 30, 2016 14:59:57

Finally some time to add a report on the Perseids 2015 on my blog. This report is originally written by Michel Vandeputte for the MeteorObs mailinglist and later updated with my own experiences.

with Michel Vandeputte, Inneke Vanderkerken, Laurien, Casper ter Kuile I
enjoyed two weeks of meteor observing from Revest du Bion (Alpes de Haute
Provence – Southern France). This time I had only one camera with me. A Canon
EOS 6D with a Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 “type L” zoom fish eye lens which
was used as an all sky camera. Michel had a so called SQM meter for
determination of the brightness of the night sky.

Picture 1. Collapsing cumulus clouds over the rented cottage, a clear night on the way. Image credits: Casper ter Kuile.

du Bion is a small village at 900m altitude settled on ‘the plateau of Albion’
between the mountain chains of the famous Mont Ventoux and Montagne de Lure.
Light pollution is very minor. The first
two nights were totally clouded out (August 8-9 and 9-10) under influences of a
small depression with lots of rain showers and thunderstorms. On August 10, high
pressure took over, creating a new series of clear skies and hot temperatures
during daylight. August 10-11 and 11-12 were totally clear. The Perseid shower
was getting stronger, with some beautiful fireballs, especially during august
11/12. Rates went over 50 Perseids an hour.
August 10/11 sky cleared in the evening. I counted 211 meteors with the highest
hourly count of 35 Perseids. I observed two fireballs, both Perseids of
magnitude -4.

As written down, the next night (August 11/12) was totaly clear.
Hourly counts go up to 60 Perseids in the early morning hours. In total I
observed 329 meteors, amongst them 211 Perseids. Some beautiful Perseids were

UT: -5 magnitude long flaring Perseid from
Cassipeia to Draco
00:45 UT: -5 magnitude Perseid from Camelopardalis to Ursa Major
02:20 UT: -6 magnitude Perseid from Cassiopeia to Lacerta.

These bright meteors were al captured with my all sky camera (see pictures 2 and 3).

Picture 2. Composition of Perseids captured on August 11, 2015 between 21:00 and 01:00 UT. The brightest meteors were captured at 22:49 and 00:45 UT.
Camera: Canon 6D. Lens: Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 type L USM fish eye lens. Tripod: Manfrotto. Image details: 8 mm, ISO 3200, F 4.5, 29 seconds. Click on the image for a better resolution.

Link to the original full size image:

Picture 3. Composition of Perseids captured on August 11, 2015 between 01:00 and 03:15 UT. Clearly visible is the zodiacal light. Camera: Canon 6D. Lens: Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 type L USM fish eye lens. Tripod: Manfrotto. Image details: 8 mm, ISO 3200, F 4.5, 29 seconds. Camera: Canon 6D. Lens: Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 type L USM fish eye lens. Tripod: Manfrotto. Image details: 8 mm, ISO 3200, F 4.5, 29 seconds. Click on the image for a better resolution.

Link to the original fulle size image:

The main maximum night 12/13 august 2015

all attention on the main maximum night! This was a bit tricky with a new
frontal system moving in from the west but it was all about the timing of this
system… The night started clear, but it became a bit hazy after midnight, still
with a SQM over 21, we should not complain. The night started with a bunch of
bright Perseids before midnight followed by a small lull in activity. Then the
shower regains it forces and peaked over 100 meteors an hour, again some nice
fireballs till magnitude -6! At 23:55 UT the first real fireball was
seen, a Perseid of magnitude -6 from Perseus tor Camelopardalis. The persistent
train was visible for one minut. Just two minutes later a magnitude -4 Perseid
near Polaris! At 00:18 UT blueish Perseid of magnitude -4 in the Big Dipper and
at 00:35 UT a blue-white Perseid of magnitude -3 in Pisces Austrinus. And at
last a Perseid of magnitude -4 in Perseus. The all sky camera captured al these
fireballs, but also two more: at 21:58 UT a magnitude -4 Perseid low in the
south and at 22:49 UT a -6 Perseid also in southern direction. We were facing
northeast, so we missed this fireballs.

Picture 4. Composition of all Perseids captured on August 12, 2015 between 21:00 and 00:00 UT. The two bright Perseid fireballs in het south we did not noticed… Camera: Canon 6D. Lens: Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 type L USM fish eye lens. Tripod: Manfrotto. Image details: 8 mm, ISO 3200, F 4.5, 29 seconds. Camera: Canon 6D. Lens: Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 type L USM fish eye lens. Tripod: Manfrotto. Image details: 8 mm, ISO 3200, F 4.5, 29 seconds. Click on the image for a better resolution.

Link to the original full sized image:

Picture 5. Composition of all Perseids captured on August 13, 2015 between 00:00 and 03:15 UT. Most bright Perseids appeared in the north eastern direction. Camera: Canon 6D. Lens: Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 type L USM fish eye lens. Tripod: Manfrotto. Image details: 8 mm, ISO 3200, F 4.5, 29 seconds. Camera: Canon 6D. Lens: Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 type L USM fish eye lens. Tripod: Manfrotto. Image details: 8 mm, ISO 3200, F 4.5, 29 seconds. Click on the image for a better resolution.

Link to the original full sized version:

Picture 6. Crop of previous image.

At 02:30
UT the first signs of high clouds moved rapidly in from the west. Not critical
but the limited magnitude decreased a bit. Anyway: morning twilight came as
usual pretty fast after 03 UT. This was a great night! I observed 426
meteors (including 345 Perseids) in 6,85 hours effective.

my eyes: this seems to be a normal Perseid maximum, perhaps a bit stronger as
usual thanks to the incoming Jovian perturbation on the stream for the period
2015-2017… Minor effect in 2015? It’ll be a lot stronger next year hopefully.

to the Provence: the frontal rain showers moved in on August 13 with some heavy
thunderstorms during the evening hours and first part of the night. No Perseids
but an impressive electrical storm during a big part August 13-14…
Anyway; we stayed alert for possible clear holes after the bad weather front.
And yes: we faced in no time crystal clear skies after 01:30 UT in the morning
of August 14. Michel measured SQM higher than 21.50, a personal record value
for us from the French Provence! The Zodiacal light conus was unusually bright
and reached as far as Pisces! Unfortunately, our observing window was short
(1.5 hours till morning twilight) but the meteor activity was very impressive
with high Perseid rates!

Picture 7. Night sky on August 14, 2015. Bright zodiacal light! Click on the image for a better resolution. Camera: Canon 6D. Lens: Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 type L USM fish eye lens. Tripod: Manfrotto. Image details: 8 mm, ISO 3200, F 4.5, 29 seconds. Camera: Canon 6D. Lens: Canon EF 8-15 mm F 4.0 type L USM fish eye lens. Tripod: Manfrotto. Image details: 8 mm, ISO 3200, F 4.5, 29 seconds.

Link to original full sized image:

Picture 8: Perseid fireball captured during dusk on August 14, 2015 at 3:20 UT. Click on the image for a larger version.

Picture 9. Crop of previous image.

Picture 11. Dinner in the evening sun.

Picture 12. A daily ritual in the evening, an assortment of delicious Provençal goat cheese. F.l.t.r. Inneke, Michel, Laurien and Casper.

Picture 13. Our rented Gite.

August 14-15 and 15-16 were influenced by a French low pressure system. Still,
we were able to observe some hours under good observing conditions, but no full
nights. On August 16, the weather became calm and the Mistral winds stabilized
the local climate. Nights became pretty cold for the time of season but it
stayed totally clear. We had good observing sessions for August 16-17, 17-18,
18-19, 19-20, 21-22. Only during 20-21, there were more clouds. The
Perseids decreased in activity after August 17. The Kappa Cygnids were minor
this year and disappointing.. Another highlight: a -10 sporadic fireball with
multiple fragmentation throught the trees in northern direction on August 16 –
23.20 UT. It was seen by few people in France, Belgium and Germany.

So, in total this years
Perseid campaign went very well! I observed 51,10 hours, resulting in 1877
meteors. My all sky camera captured ~120 meteors.

Dusttrail of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle

Meteors Posted on Mon, November 23, 2015 17:19:17

During the night of 22/23 november 2014 I could observe
a couple of hours from the Groevenbeekse Heide. This to see if the dusttrail of
Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle from the year 636 shows some activity in the form of
Leonid meteors. I counted some Leonids from 1 to 4 an hour. All Leonids were
weak, but one was a beautiful magn. -2. In total I counted 48 meteors, amongst
them 11 Leonids, 3 alpha Monocerotids and 3 Northern Taurids.
I took with me to the heath a
Canon EOS6D equipped with a
Canon EF 8-15 mm F4.0 USM lens ye fish. The camera captured 4 meteors, including two
Leonids of magnitude -2 and -4. It was also captured
with my all sky
camera EN-98. This is a Canon EOS 40D with a
Sigma 4.5 circular
fish eye lens and a rotating shutter. And
last but not least also my CAMS camera 352 captured this Leonid. Here are some
pictures of this night.

Picture 1. At 02:43 UT a Leonid of magnitude -2 in Camelopardalis and Auriga. Click on the image to see the whole picture. Camera: Canon EOS6d with a Canon EF 8-15 mm F4L fishe eye lens. ISO: 1250, F 4.0, 29s.

Picture 2. At 04:12:36 a bright Leonid of magnitude -4 in Ursa Major (“The Big Dipper”). Click on the image to see the whole image. Camera: Canon EOS6d with a Canon EF 8-15 mm F4L fishe eye lens. ISO: 1250, F 4.0, 29s.

Picture 3: persistent train of the Leonid fireball. Camera: Canon EOS6d with a Canon EF 8-15 mm F4L fishe eye lens. ISO: 1250, F 4.0, 29s.

Nick van Tiem’s Graduation Project

Meteors Posted on Sun, August 02, 2015 16:23:28

In 2014 and 2015 I was photographed twice by Nick van Tiem (a student photography at the Royal Academy of art, the Hague) for his graduation project. Nick chose as theme for his graduation project: Amateur astronomers who carry out observations for science.
The attached pictures are the ones he used for his graduationproject and his book “The Star Disappeared”. The photos were also used in an exhibition with more pictures from other graduate photography students. Amateurs who contributed to Nick’s graduation project: Harrie Rutten (star occultations), Klaas Jobse (asteroids), Guus Gilein (variable stars), Peter Bus (comets) and me (meteors).
Thanks for the beautiful pictures and congratulations on succesfully completing your studie Nick van Tiem!

Quadrantids 2015 report

Meteors Posted on Mon, January 05, 2015 11:45:38

Quadrantids 3/4 January 2015
Last night, the meteor shower the Quadrantids had its maximum. Because there was an almost full moon, I decided for a visual meteor observing session in the early morning. For several days the weather services indicated that there was a possibility of clear skies . Indeed, after a day of rain the sky cleared in the course of the evening. The clock alarm waked me up at 00:30 UT: clear sky but with a lot of cirrus clouds (this is disastrous for visual meteor observation in combination with a full moon). A second check was followed at 03:45 UT: Yess, it was clear and the cirrus was gone.

Between 03:57 and 06:30 UT, I could observe, limiting magnitude increasing from 5.2 to 5.5 at 06:00 UT. There were still reasonable numbers Quadrantids seen strikingly weak stuff (magn. +3 and +4).
The first clear period was from 03:55 to 04:37 UT: Lm around 5.2. In that period, with an effective observation period of 0.70 hours I counted 10 Quadrantids and 1 sporadic meteor. After this period the observations were interrupted because ofpassing clouds that lasted until 04:58 UT. then it remains clear until dawn. However, there was a period of 5 minutes with some passing clouds with a maximum of just 10% coverage.
In the period from 04:58 to 06:00 UT I observed in 1.03 hours 24 Quadrantids, one anti Helion and 1 sporadic meteor. Lm during this period rising from 5.3 to 5.5 just before 6:00 UT. The most beautiful meteors were seen at 05:16 (magnitude +1 QAU) and 05:50 UT (magnitude 0 QUA). I also saw for the first time a stone-owl fly over. I heard them this week in our neighborhood, but had not seen them yet.
In the period from 6:00 to 6:30 UT (0.50 hour effective) I counted 11 Quadrantids and 2 sporadic meteors. At dusk I saw a bright -2 meteor. Presumably a sporadic because it seemed too fast for a Quadrantid and the direction was not correct as well. On the other hand, this meteor was a absolute “eye corner case”….
In total I observed in 2.23 hours 45 Quadrantids, 1 anti Helion and 5 sporadic meteors. A total of 51 meteors.

Picture 1: Composities of some of the meteors recorded with CAMS 352 camera. around 05:00-05:30 UT. Stars of the constellation of Bootes are visible, the bright star in the middle is Arcturus.

Picture 2: Composities of some of the meteors recorded with CAMS 352 camera. around 05:30-06:30 UT. Stars of the constellation of Bootes are visible, the bright star in the middle is Arcturus.

ZHR calculations.
03:55 until 04:37 UT: ZHR 44 ~14.
04:58 until 06:00 UT: ZHR 52 ~11.
06:00 until 06:15 UT: ZHR 70 ~25.
Because of the almost full moon large deviations. Lm between 5,2 and 5,5. I think this a a rather low ZHR, comparable with 2003 (ZHR 60). In 1995 the shower had at the same solar longitude a much higher ZHR, up to 140.

My all sky camera captured on 3 januari 2015 at 23:21 UT a Quadrantid fireball (oppr. magn. -4). It was also captured with two CAMS camera’s at Hengelo.
Both my CAMS camera’s 351 and 352 recorded 85 meteors, despite sometimes heavy cloudcover and moonlight.

Geminids 2014 report

Meteors Posted on Sun, December 21, 2014 14:38:52

Geminids from the Netherlands.

13/14 december: a great Geminid display! Weather predictions
looked not so good for this night in de center and eastern parts of the
Netherlands: there would be some clear spells but immediately followed by the formation of fog or
low clouds. However, the Dutch weather institute KNMI expected a very
clear sky with dry air in the northwestern and western parts of our country. After
a phone call of Sietse Dijkstra, we
dicided to go to Jos Nijland, a well known meteor observer living in
this area.

my home I set up both CAMS systems and all sky camera for the coming night.
Sietse arrived at Ermelo at 15:45 UT. After a quick bite we headed to
Benningbroek. It was raining at that time… Near Lelystad we saw the first clear spells in the sky. We arrived at Jos’ home around
17:30 UT. Jos
was buzy with the old and famous “Hazen batterij”, a analog camera
array with 11 Canon T70 camera’s. Jos and Hans Betlem would do simultaneously
photograpic observations between Benningbroek and Leiden. After the camera’s
were tested and provided with film (good old Tri-X) we had to wait to 20:00 UT.
At that time the cameras would be opened
simultaneously at both locations. And so
it did. During this Sietse and I saw a nice Geminid earthgrazer with 100
degrees path. There were still a lot of clouds (75% coverage).

Then we left quickly to Dijkgatsbos, to Dutch
standards a very dark location
near the IJsselmeer (52⁰53’21,8″ N, 05⁰04’08,6″
E). During this trip the amount of
clouds rapidly decreasing. It was busy at
Dijkgatsbos with some astrophotographers and families with kids enjoying the
Geminids. We quickly installed us, the sky was dark and pristine.

Picture 1: very scenic picture made by Maurice Toet, al well known Dutch astrophotographer (

I started under a very bright sky with a limiting magnitude of
6,6: very good to Dutch standards. Immideately Geminids were seen. After 30
minutes we had to stop twice shortly (7 and 8 minutes) because of some passing fields
of clouds. After that it remained clear until 3:30 UT. At 23:00 UT
a 50% moon appeared
above the horizon, but the first two
hours she was still behind the trees
behind us. Also, after a while the
air was very dry. One of the guys who
was with us and observe regularly at this site mentioned he had never had seen
such a clear sky at this location!

Geminid activity on the rise: first hour 52, second hour 96 and
the third hour I counted 127 Geminids (between 23:10-00:15 UT, T.eff 1,07 hr,
Lm 6,45). Sometimes we saw 2 Geminids at once, or 5, 6, 7 within seconds
followed by a quieter period. Despite the rising moon in the sky, the counts of
the Geminids remained at the same level. I counted 92, 104 and 93 Geminids
(~1.00 hour periods)…. The last 0,23 hours I counted 18 Geminids. After 3:30
UT clouds appeared again and we had to stop.

Picture 2: another beautiful picture taken by Maurice Toet ( There was some groundfog, but after 0:30 UT the air was very dry.

During the whole period the most Geminids were in the range of
magn. +2, +3 and +4. Also some brighter ones were seen. No real fireballs, only
two of magnitude -3. But what a show it was! In total I observed during 6,40 hours 657 meteors (582 Geminids, 6
ANT, 3 Hydrids, 1 early Ursid and 65 sporadic meteors). Jos Nijland and Sietse
Dijkstra observed also during the whole period. I expect a large set of
observations from them to!

When I came home (Ermelo, the Netherlands) I looked at the
images taken with my all sky camera and the CAMS systems: a period of 30
minutes clear sky in the evening and after 6:00 UT during dusk…. So it was a
very good decision to leave to Dijkgatsbos! The CAMS systems recorded 15 meteors, the all sky camera recorded nothing.

Picture 3: a bright Geminid captured in the early morning of december 14, 2014 at 06:23:45 UT. CAMS 352.

14/15 december 2014: in the evening a clear sky above Ermelo and
before the clouds came in I could watch for 2,5 hour looking for nice Geminid
earthgrazers. In that period (17:00 until 19:390 UT) I counted 17 Geminids. The
best ones were two of magn. +1 with very long path’s throught the sky. In total
I counted 23 meteors (6 SPO).

Picture 4: composition of some bright Geminids captured with CAMS 352 station during the evening of december 14, 2014. The bright star is Capella (alpha Auriga). There is one sporadic meteor visible on this image, which one is it?

Picture 5: another composition of bright Geminids captured in the evening of december 14, 2014. Stars of the constellation of Aries are visible. CAMS 351.

Perseïds 2013 from Revest du Bion, southern France

Meteors Posted on Sun, September 15, 2013 11:44:41

In the period from 3 to 16 August, I stayed with a number of DMS observers and friends in the southern French village of Revest du Bion (44 03’32 “North and 05 33’08” East). This to observe the Perseids visually, photographically, and with two CAMS systems. Peter van Leuteren, Casper ter Kuile and Sietse Dijkstra were the co observers. In the village of La Blache stayed Klaas Jobse, also with two CAMS systems to set up simultaneous observations with the CAMS systems.
Besides the meteor observations there was also done much astrophotography, particularly by Casper.
Our location was a rented gite 3 km south of Revest du Bion. It has a very big garden with an open field with good views in all directions.
The whole period in the Provence is characterized by extremely sunny and clear weather. What we also noticed was that the nights were very humid and cool, but fortunately without the associated fog or low clouds.
Picture 1: Casper’s Chevrolet Voyager full with equipment, luggage and two bikes on a bike rack.
2: After a long day of heat, asfalt and “baustelles” finally a good
meal at Britzingen. V.l.t.r.: Peter van Leuteren, Casper ter Kuile and
Klaas Jobse.

Picture 3: File in the French Alps….
Picture 4: Beware of Santa Claus….

My visual results of the Perseïds 2013.

3/4 August 2013
In the evening and the later on in the night cirrus clouds. In the period from 21:58 to 23:30 UT the sky was clear without cirrus so I could observe 1.53 hours. It yielded 25 meteors of which were 9 PER, 1 SDA and 15 SPO.

4/5 August 2013
Nice observing session between 23:48 to 03:00 UT. The limiting magnitude increased to 6.6. In t.eff 3.20 hours I observed 105 meteors, amongst them 43 PER, 3 SDA, 3 CAP,1 KCG and 2 ANT.

5/6 August, 2013
A rather messy night. Occasionally we had to stop because of extensive fields of cirrus. Peter and I observed between 21:48 to 03:00 UT with a maximum lm of 6.6. The final total score for me were 42 PER, 4 SDA, 2 KCG and 47 SPO (a total of 95 meteors). A -3 SPO with a 4 second persistent train was the beautiful highlight at the end of the night.

6/7 August 2013.
Mostly cloudy night. Only by morning a short clear period. Between 02:04 and 02:38 UT I could observe and that yielded only 13 meteors (4 PER and 9 SPO). After this period, we saw a nice thunderstorm at 30 km to the northwest of our location, moving over the famous Mont Ventoux with some nice CG’s. Peter took beautiful pictures of it.

Picture 5: the living room of our Gite. Two Astrotrac mounts, a Polarie and an EQ5 mount.

Picture 6: Every night the all sky camera of Peter took pictures of the night sky.

Picture 7: Astrotrac Travel System of me in the garden of our Gite.

Pictures 8, 9, 10: Pictures of nocturnal storms passing the Provence during the night of 7/8 august 2013.

7/8 August 2013
All day and night a coming and going of (sometimes heavy) thunderstorms. During a thunderstorm at day we did see (and filmed) clearly rotation of (scud) clouds.

8/9 August 2013
A very bright but humid night. In no time all equipment soaked. Limiting magnitude increased to 6.7. I logged meteors between 20:57 and 03:10 UT. This resulted in 5.17 hours effective observing time yielding 168 meteors, of which were 69 PER, 9 SDA, 1 CAP, 1 KCG, 1 ANT and 87 SPO.
Pictures 10, 11, 12: Today I took a walk (with Peter) in the surroundings of Revest du Bion. Here some pictures.

9/10 August 2013
The only dry night, thanks to a weak mistral from the north. This wind often creates crisp and very clear sky’s. Indeed! The limiting magnitude increased to 6.8 and delivered beautiful sights of example, the richly textured milky way, deep sky objects such as M33 and the North America nebula easely visible to the naked eye! Also the zodiacal light was clearly visible.
Between 20:57 and 03:10 UT I counted in 5.75 hours 238 meteors of which 128 PER, 7 SDA, 3 CAP3, 4 KCG,1 ANT and 95 SPO. The most beautiful meteor was a -4 Perseid.
Picture 13: Composition of photographed meteors during the night 9/10-8-2013, taken with a Canon EOS 40D and a Canon EF 15 mm F 2.8 lens (1600 iso, F 3.2). Mount: Vixen Polarie on a Manfrotto tripod. Click on the image for a larger version.
Picture 14: Compostion of photographed meteors during the night 9/10-8-2013. Images taken with a Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 15 mm F 2.8 lens (ISO 1600, F 3.2). On this image are visible the International Space Station, 2 kappa Cygnids and 2 Perseids.
Mount: Vixen Polarie on a Manfrotto tripod. Click on the image for a larger version.
Picture 15: Canon EOS 40D, Canon EF 15 mm F 2.8 lens on a Vixen Polarie Travel mounty. Here it is used to make time lapse movies.

10/11 August 2013
At day we traveled to Avignon to pick up Sietse Dijkstra. He was traveling from the Netherlands with a high speed train (Thalys). After that we made a short visit to the beautiful old center of Avignon.
The sky was slightly less bright than the previous night, limiting magnitude up to 6.7. Between 20:33 and 03:10 UT I observed during 6.23 hours 261 meteors of which 153 PER, 8 SDA, 2 CAP 12 KCG (!) and 86 SPO. About the KCG’s, these were seen more than usual in similar nights. In 1993 and 2007 they were considerably more active with regular bright fireballs. This years KCG activity was more comparable to 1985 when I also counted more than normal numbers of KCG’s, but then I observed no fireballs. The brightest KCG of this night were a pair of magnitude 0 and +1. A number of bright meteors was also observed from the apex region and I may have also seen some eta Eridanids. These were often bright meteors with long duration persistent trails. These meteors are inclued in the numbers of sporadic meteors .
The Perseids hourly counts amounted to 30-35 per hour at dawn. A -3 and a -4 Perseid were the most beautiful meteors this night with long duration persistent trains.

11/12 August 2013
Again a crisp night, limiting magnitude rose to 6.8. Between 20:17 and 03:15 UT I logged in 6.58 hours 419 meteors of which were 316 PER, 6 SDA, 3 CAP, 7 KCG and 87 SPO. The Perseids hourly counts rose up to 80 to 90 an hour. Many Perseids were weak, as expected. The beautiful ones were a pair of magnitude -4 Perseids. The KCG’s were still active. In the first hour I observed a couple of beautiful Perseid earthgrazers.

Picture 16: Composition of meteors I captured during the night of 11/12-8-2013. Camera: Canon EOS 40D. Lens: Canon EF 35 mm F 1.4 USM. Mount: Astrotrac Travel System. Ten Perseids and two sporadic meteors are visible. Click on the image for a larger version.
Picture 17: Due to a failure of my lens heating it was not possible to make a compostion from the second Canon EOS 40D with the Canon EF 15 mm EF 2.8 lens. Mount: Vixen Polarie on a Manfrotto tripod.

12/13 August
At daytime the weather changed. The famous deep
blue sky was more like milky/blue. In the Pyrenees heavy thunderstorms were active and the ice sheets (cirrus clouds) of these storms moved in our direction. Indeed, in the evening we had some troubles with cirrus, but after 23 UT they disappeared.
The moon
lighted the sky a bit in the evening. This all resulted in a lower lm of
6.5. But that does not stop the meteors from appearing! During 6.18
hours of netto observing time I logged 371 PER, 3 SDA, 4 CAP, 8 KCG, 2
ANT and 81 SPO. A total of 469 meteors! Many bright stuff to, I counted
2Perseids of magnitude -5, two Perseids of magnitude -4 and six Perseids of -3!
Perseid counts went up to 80 to 90 meteors an hour at dawn. That means
that the ZHR was higher than in previous night. The hourly counts were
the same as previous night but the limiting magnitude was much lower this night. As
written above, it was 6.5 compared to the 6.8 in the previous night
This night was also special for me, I counted my 70 000nd meteor since I started meteor observations in 1978;-)!

Picture 18 and 19: Our rented house at Revest du Bion.
Picture 20: Composition of meteors captured with a Canon EOS 40D and a canon EF 15 mm F 2.8 fish eye lens. Mount: Vixen Polarie. Click on the image for a larger version.
Picture 21: Composition of Perseids I captured during the first 3 hours of the night. The brown sky color is due to the combination of thin cirrus clouds and light pollution. Click on the image for a larger version. Camera: Canon EOS 40D. Lens: Canon EF 35 mm F 1.4 L USM.
Picture 22: Composition af most meteors I captured in the second part of the night 12/13-8-2013. Camera; Canon EOS 40D. Lens: Canon EF 35 mm F 1.4 L USM. There are some nice deep sky objects visible on this image: below the Pleiades (an open starcluster with emission nebula, the double starcluster x&h Persei (above) and the California nebula. Click on the image for a larger version.

13/14 August
This night a weak coldfront passed the Provence. It resulted in a period with cirrus and middle high clouds. In the evening I was able to observe the moonlit sky for an hour (between 20:10 and 21:10 UT, when the cloudcover was to high). This period yielded 8 PER and 1 SPO. Amongst them two beautiful earth grazers.
Picture 23: Evening session of 13 august 2013. Me observing from the sunbed. The Perseid in the picture below Cassiopeia, I saw visually and almost immediately after I started the observations. Click on the image for a larger version.

Between 21:10 and 00:32 UT it was mostly cloudy, then it cleared slowly from the northwest. The lm rose to 6.7. Between 00:32 and 02:45 UT I could observe under mostly good condtions. Perseid hourly counts up to 32. In total, I counted 103 PER, 1 CAP, 4 KCG and 30 SPO during 3.18 hours
effective (in total 138 meteors). A -3 Perseid was the highlight of the night.
Picture 24: After the first session there was much cirrus clouds in the sky. The camera still runs and captured this nice ISS passage. Click on the image for a larger version.
Picture 25: Startrails image made of images taken on the morning of 15 august 2013.

14/15 August
In the evening more moonlight. The lm was 6.6. I observed for 4.27 hours and counted 137 meteors, of which 84 PER, 1 CAP, 4 KCG and 48 SPO. Two Perseids of -4 were the most bright meteors.
Picture 26: Peter is preparing his famous startrails image!
Picture 27: Startrails all sky image of the moonlit sky of 14 august 2013, taken with a Canon 40D and a Sigma ET-X4.5 mm fish eye lens. Click on the image for a larger version.
Picture 28: Startrails image of 14/15 august 2013. Same camera and lens as in previous image. Click on the image of a larger version.
Picture 29: making a time lapse movie with a beautiful old wooden handcart. Click on the image for a larger version.
Picture 30: Photo of the time lapse setup consisting of a Manfrotto tripod, a Vixen Polarie, a Canon EOS 40D, a Canon EF 15mm F2.8 fish eye lens, a Canon TC 80N3 Timer Controller and a dew ribbon. This worked fine! Click on the image for a larger version.
Picture 31: Composition of an ISS passage on August 14, 2013 taken with the setup as seen in pictures 29 and 30. Click on the image for a larger version.

15/16 augustus
The last night at Revest du Bion. Between 00:15 and 02:15 UT I logged58 meteors which 35 PER, 1 CAP, 1 KCG , 2 ANT 19 SPO (a total of 58 meteors) The most beautiful meteor was a Perseid of -3.

In total this campaign I could observe during 47.94 hours. It resulted in data of 1357 PER, 41 SDA, 19 CAP, 44 KCG, 8 ANT and 657 SPO. 20 of these meteors were of magnitude -3 to -5. Very bright fireballs were not seen. All my data is available at the IMO website.

CAMS results Revest du Bion/La Blache.
Picture 32: Laptops for both CAMS cameras (300 and 301). They were set up in an empty closet in the storeroom of our rented cottage. There it was at day or night about 24 degrees.
Picture 33: The two CAMS cameras ready for action!

Besides the huge bulk of visual meteors (Peter counted a total of 1700 meteors and Sietse counted hundreds of meteors) also the CAMS cameras were very successful: they recorded 550 simultaneous meteors.

ata Aquariids oubtburst 2013

Meteors Posted on Sun, May 26, 2013 15:26:06

Just posted an English report on the eta Aquariids outburst of 6 may 2013. Enjoy!

All my Leonid pages added to my website

Meteors Posted on Sun, February 03, 2013 13:17:43

Just added all my Leonid stories and observations at my website. Additional information and some explanation about the Leonids is also added. Enjoy reading.

2012 in images and words

Meteors Posted on Sun, January 13, 2013 17:32:36

Overview of all my 2012 observations:

Perseids 2013

Meteors Posted on Tue, January 01, 2013 19:18:07

Looking forward to a Perseid campaign in the Provence this year. Together with my good friends Carl Johannink, Peter van Leuteren, Inneke Vanderkerken, Michel Vandeputte, Sietse Dijkstra and last but not least Casper ter Kuile.
This will be our location:

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