Monday, November 30, 2015

South Taurids Meteor Shower

Went out to the Causeway in the wee hours of the morning last month to catch two things. One, the South Taurid meteor shower was scheduled to do whatever they do that morning. The second thing I wanted to capture was the planetary conjugation of the moon, Jupiter, Mars and Venus. In non-astronomical circles conjugation means clumped-together, in case you wanted to talk normal. I caught one, but the other was elusive.

That's Tampa over there and the Moon and Venus.  But if you look close enough... begin to see the other, more faint celestial bodies of Mars and Jupiter. This kind of outlay in the sky passes for some kind of whoopie, these days for an old guy with a camera in the dreaded bowels of Florida. As you can see I'm on a walking bridge that were I a bit more ambitious would take me all the way into the outskirts of the Dark City. But since there be Dragons there, I stay safely on the other side.

Actually, the walkway is pretty abandoned this time of night, although on this evening lovers came ambling along - oblivious to me and hand in hand. Was it the celestial show? Naw, just a couple love-bit fools taking a romantic stroll on a rather cool structure. One day, perhaps soon, I will walk the Causeway all the way. And when I do, I will report it to you, my little group of loyal readers.

We are now pointed toward the West.  From left to right, is Saint Petersburg, and then toward the right is Clearwater.  Where that large bunch of light is to the right of center is the airport. 

The other draw tonight, the annual South Taurid meteor shower, was a lot less spectacular than the planetary close dance happening to the East. The annual Taurid showers, North and South, was a dud. As usual I set up my camera and focused toward the point of origin, the constellation Taurid, to the West, and started taking 25 second exposures. Hundreds of them. Like around 300 of them. And nothing. Not a single meteor. But never fear, like a suitor that can't take no for an answer I will wait a few days and return to see the North Taurid meteor shower. Oh, no, you aren't done with this yet.

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