Impression of a Bolide

Bolide - 16 January 2015
Bolide – 16 January 2015

Attached is a sketch of a Bolide meteor observed on the evening of 1-16-2015. I was setting up to image Comet Lovejoy in Cumberland, VA when it appeared. It was near full moon brightness and colors were quite vivid to the naked eye! I nicknamed it “All American Meteor” for its colors! I used colored pencils and Photoshop CS2.
I enjoy your site.

Randy Tatum
Henrico, VA USA

Geminid’s Rain

Geminid Meteor Shower - December 14, 2013
Geminid Meteor Shower – December 14, 2013

Object Name (Geminids)
Object Type (Meteor shower )
Location (Provence France)
Date (14 dec 2013)
Media (graphite pencil, watercolor, white paper, digital inversion )

From 4UT just after the moonset, I was observing one hour looking around the Leo area.
I begin to sketch the sky region where I was looking, +/- 45° from the radiant. We can see the Leo and the red Mars underneath.
Each time a meteor was burning out I put the trace on my white paper link with the estimated magnitude. Let says one minute after, because already years ago, I realized that sometime a meteor is following shortly by another one, just on the same track, like a double meteor. This morning I saw 42 Geminids and 2 sporadic’s, I don’t sketch the sporadic meteor here. The speed was quite low and the magnitudes quite brilliant.
The small village where I’m don’t care about light pollution, ok then, I use this to sketch the Christmas street decoration like it is.
Here follows my result of the watch,
December 14, 2013 (Val d’Issole, France)
Longitude 006 degrees 05′ 25″ East,
Latitude 43 degrees 18′ 15″ North.
UT Period Field Teff LM GEM SPO
4:00-5:05 60SSE 1.00 5.20 42 2

Total Meteors: 44
Magnitude Distributions:
Shower  -5  -4  -3  -2  -1   0   1   2   3   4   5

GEM      0   0   2   4   5   5   6  10   8   2   0
SPO      0   0   0   1   0   1   0   0   0   0   0

Based on this, my ZHR observation reaches 250!

It was a nice watch, a wonderful spectacle indeed.

Clear sky to you all

Michel Deconinck

Perseid Heading through Andromeda

Perseid - August 13, 2013
Perseid – August 13, 2013

Object Name: Meteor
Object Type: Perseid
Location: Sketched at a dark sky sight in Bristol, UK
Date: 13th August 2013; 00:40am; conditions – very good
Media (graphite pencil sketch and then digitized using graphics tablet and Photoshop)

I usually sketch in some detail (mainly HB and 2B). I then scanned the result into Photoshop and sharpened the sketch.

Observing Details

Had intended to spend an evening under dark skies watching the Perseids. Started out at 11:30pm but after numerous bright meteors over the next hour or so I decided it might be worth trying to accurately sketch one. This meteor came out of Cassiopeia and headed towards Andromeda Galaxy and broke in two as it trailed away. Frustratingly while I was sketching the background stars (and looking down) my pad was illuminated by a flash and on glancing up I realised I had missed a monster heading towards Pegasus – I could see the smoking trail for a good 2 secs. Suffering for my art? Perhaps!!

Hope you enjoy,

Clear Skies

Chris Lee

Star Party under the Perseids

Perseid Star Party - August 11, 2013
Perseid Star Party – August 11, 2013

Object Name (Just a Perseid)
Object Type (Falling star and star party)
Location (Sainte Anastasie sur Issole – Provence)
Date (august 11th 2013)
Media (watercolour on 300gr paper – dim : 25cm/65cm)

The national star night, august 10th 2013 with AFA (Astronomical French Association)
At night, a lot of curious, tourist or passionate are join us under thousands of stars, fixed or falling.
A storyteller playing Celtic harp tells children “how they tried to assassinate Jupiter.” Another storyteller playing bagpipe tells the strange story of the constellations, the gods who watch us from the sky. A dozen of telescopes were in place, including a real antiquity made before the first edition of the Messier catalogue… Workshop were organised around magnitudes and star colours. Children dancing as orbited around our big model of Jupiter and its four main moons…
All this achieved thanks to the Sainte Anastasie’s municipality, turned off the lights around our observation field.
For all of us, this night was,… an astronomical success!

Michel Deconinck

Spectacular Perseids

2012 Perseids
2012 Perseids

Object Name: Perseids
Object Type: Annular meteor shower
Location: Lochem, The Netherlands
Date: August 12, 2012
Media: Black and white pastel (pencil) on navy blue paper

The peak of the Perseid meteor shower occurs at noon from my longitude, so the best period to observe the meteors would this morning before dawn. I took a comfortable chair and my sketching materials to my favorite observing site to sketch as much meteors as possible. At the eve of my obseving session I already prepared the layout for the sketch: a starry sky (with the brightest stars as visible around the observing time) and a bit of a horizon. At the site I drew the meteors and the fainter stars at the right position.

Despite it was still hours before the real maximum, it was a spectacle! A lot of bright meteors, some with smoke trails. Sadly I missed some of the brightest because I was busy sketching a fainter one…

Clear skies!

Roel Weijenberg

2012 Perseids

2012 Perseids
2012 Perseids

Object Name (Perseids)
Object Type (Shower)
Location (Néoules Provence France)
Date (6 – 12 august 2012)
Media (graphite pencil, white paper, inverted with

Here join a sketch I made during the Perseid activity, from august 6th ‘till the morning of august 12th. In fact it’s a sketch compilation of all traces I observed.

From the meteors collected (6.5h observation time), I made a small animation video :

Clear sky to you all !

Michel Deconinck

Site Web:

Sporadic Meteor over the Castle of Forcalqueiret

Sporadic Meteor
Sporadic Meteor

January 23, 2012 at 7:37 p.m. local time, I saw this meteor fall. It seemed to fall on the castle of Forcalqueiret in Provence, already so ruined …
This meteor belongs to the sporadic family, no known shower exist at this time of the year. Slow, it has about 3 seconds to disintegrate by emitting a beautiful ocher yellow light.

My sketch was made ​​ naked eye in the cold of this early winter evening. We can see the sky from the Pleiades to the feet of Orion, passing through the Hyades in the constellation Taurus. I tried to take account of different colors like Betelgeuse and Rigel, respectively red and blue. The Great Nebula in Orion also shows a little pink shade than the surrounding stars.

I made this sketch on white paper with caracole pencils, using directly the correct reverse colour black for white, blue for the meteor, light blue for Betelgeuse and M42, and yellow for Rigel. The final work is to invert the scanned sketch.

Michel Deconinck

Web :

Green Meteor, Great Surprise


Object Type: meteor
Location: Itajobi, SP, Brazil
21º10′ S
49º03′ W
Date: 08/07/2011
Time: 12h10 (U.T.)
Instrument: none (naked eye)
Media: 2B 0.5mm graphite pencil on white paper
Observer: Rodrigo Pasiani Costa

That night in July I was observing some deep sky objects through my 180mm reflector in my mother’s farm, about 3 miles from town (a small one, I should say). There was no light pollution or any light around, so that was a great place to set a scope. The sugar canes were still low so they wouldn’t be a hassle. The zenith naked eye limit magnitude was around 5.5, and the seeing was also great, ranging from one to two (Antoniadi). It was all perfect, but the wind started to blow tough, rising a lot of dust from the ground in a way I was forced to cover the telescope. It was still early, about 9 p.m. local time, and I was decided not to leave the farm yet, since I had arrived there only one hour and a half before. So I decided to pick up my binoculars, a 10×50, to glance at some objects in Scorpius. When I was walking toward the car, where the binoculars were in, I lifted my eyes and saw the brighest bolide I’ve ever seen. It lasted at least three seconds, and crossed more than 40 degrees in the dark sky, close to Centaurus and Crux. It was green, and exploded beautifully right before fading. I could not believe in such astonishing meteor, and stood still, glaring the sky for a brief moment, with the image in my mind. Then I sketched it before I forgot some precious detail, as you can see above. I hope you enjoy it, it was amazing.

Thanks for the opportunity to immortalize this moment.
Clear sky to everyone, Rodrigo.

Phaeton’s Falling Particles

Object : Meteor Shower from 3200 Phaeton(Geminids)
Date : December 13/14 2010
Time : 03:15-04:15 LST / 10:15-11:15 UT
Location : Wickenburg, Arizona USA
Medium : Charcoal pencils, white paper, paintbrush used as stump, Windows Paint for inversion, polishing and removing unwanted artifacts
Detector : Visual observation
Magnitude : Varying from 5 to -2
Weather : Moonless sky, Wispy cirrus clouds that soon dissipated, calm winds,somewhat chilly in the mid 40’s

Comments :

The Geminids for this season didn’t dissapoint ! As you can see, in my opinion, it surpassed the Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) from that of this past August’s Perseids. In this one hour time frame sketch, I jotted down over 80 blazing streaks of the falling particles. Obviously, this didn’t include those that fell behind me or the ones that went unnoticed. It easily matched the confirmed rate of 120 (ZHR) or even more !!

In the sketch, I tried to cover a vast area of sky to show not only the radiant and its host constellation but also where the ‘shooting stars’ will be falling. In most cases they appear to fall a good distance away from the radiant. I chose the area with Canis Major,Orion,Taurus, Auriga, M44, M45 and high above is of course Gemini. While most of the meteors burned brightly white/yellow-or so they appeared, there was one that I caught high over my head with a yellow/green color! This meteor had a ‘double streak’ !!
I could distinctly see two greenish trails with a gap in between as it vaporized across the sky. A rather peculiar sight to witness, perhaps some of you out there have seen them too.

Well, it sure was worthed watching this shower all the way into the dawn hours and leaving me a happy camper. 😉

Wishing you dark and clear skies,


Fire from the Twins

Object Name Geminids
Object Type Meteor shower
Location My own backyard, Deventer, The Netherlands
Date Dec. 14th, 01.15UT – 03.00UT
Media Black and white pastels on navy blue paper

Last night the rich meteor shower of the Geminids peaked (actually it was around 14.00UT this afternoon, but the most favorable time to watch it from Europe was during the dark early hours of 14 december). Once again I decided to make a pastel sketch, just like I did during the Perseid shower last August. I used the same method: I made a very global sketch of the starfield I was going to view, including the obstruction caused by the roof and a tree on a dark blue piece of paper. In the field during the observation period I drew every meteor in place with a white pastel pencil.

But the shower was so rich I hardly got time to plot every meteor in the drawing. At given times there were 4 meteors per 10 seconds! I did not count them, but I must have seen over 150 meteors (incl. the ones outside the drawing’s field of view) in the 2 hours of observing time. Incredible! Around 40 of them appeared in the area of the drawing. I observed from my own backyard from 01.15 UT until 03.15 UT. Skies were clear during this whole period, but light pollution got a nasty boost from the snow that fell earlier that evening. NELM was around 5.

Kind regards,
Roel Weijenberg

Night of the Perseids

Object : Meteor Shower (Perseids)
Date : August 12/13 2010
Time : 12:55-01:55 LST / 07:55-08:55 UT
Location : Harquahala Mountain Range, Arizona USA
Medium : Charcoal pencils, white paper, paintbrush used as stump
Detector : Visual observation
Magnitude : Varying from 5 to -2 give or take a notch
Weather : Clear Moonless skies, calm winds and temperature in the mid 70’s

Comments :

I could’ve titled it “It’s A Dry Shower” but the Southwest humor
might not have gone far beyond Arizona. Anyway, lets drop the
umbrella and enjoy what was for some, one of the best showers ever
both in spectacle and rate or number of shooting stars. Data from
the International Meteor Organization (IMO) indicated that the Zenith Hourly Rate
(ZHR) peaked at 140 meteors per hour! From the
various meteor showers occuring throughout the year, the Perseids
in my opinion, are the “Best of Show” in that category.

The young waxing Moon along with a parade of planets went under the
horizon just in perfect time, a determining factor that helps in
bringing out even the faintest glowing granules of cometary debris.
They say to bring along a partner for otherwise it can get lonely
and quiet at times. My helpful assistant and wife was with me all
through the night. Staring at the sky for prolonged periods can be
easier by casual conversation with some company. My first hour
started at 9 pm LST. For the next 60 minutes a total of 14 Perseid
meteor streaks was all I recorded on my notes 3 were sporadics. The
following hour, at 10 pm LST, I ended with a count of 19 Perseids.
10 were from a combination of sporadic and Capricornids. At 11:15
pm LST, after a small break, I started the count again. This next
hour gave me a total of 39 Perseids.I decided at this time to get
my pad and pencils along with a pre-plotted star chart. All I had
to do next was doodle in everything that the sky would throw at me
including an incredibly bright Milky Way in the background.During
the next hour from 12:55 to 01:55 am LST, over 52 meteors were
immortalized on my sketch pad. A good deal of them left persistent
trains or smoke trails that soon vanished or dispersed with the
wind. Some of those that burned the brightest to a magnitude of -2
left their trail glowing with iridescent colors, the most
noticeable was a neon greenish hue. This color is attributed to a
meteor with a high composition of magnesium according to Astronomy magazine.
To the unaided eye, the persistent trains seemed to last
about 2 to 4 seconds in the air. However, I grabbed the binoculars
and noticed that the gaseous trail was still lingering far longer
than a few seconds. Those persistent trains lasted on some
occasions up to 10 to 15 seconds up until they finally broke or
disintegrated into nothingness.

I can add more blah,blah,blah but this is good enough for now!
Wishing you dark and clear skies,


The Perseid Meteor Shower 2010

* Object Name: Perseids
* Object Type: annular meteor shower
* Location: near Lochem, The Netherlands
* Date: August 13, 2010)
* Media: white and black pastels on navy blue paper

Last night I wanted to try something different: drawing a meteor
shower instead of photographing it!
First I rendered a background with only stars. I used a white pastel
pencil for that. Then I added a horizon with a black pastel.
I took this background drawing to my favourite observing site, lay
down on a comfortable chair and added every meteor I observed on my
pefab sky drawing.
I made two of these drawings. This one is made between midnight and
02.00h. The second one (between 02.00h and 03.30h) can be viewed at

Perseïden 2010: helemaal goed! (ASOD 14-08-’10)

Kind regards,

Roel Weijenberg

Fiery Mane of the Lion

Fiery Mane of the Lion

The Leonid Meteor Shower, November 16th and 17th, 2009
Sketch and Details by Richard Handy

The Leonids put on a spectacular display in the early morning hours of November 17th as seen from from Jacumba, California. Around 1:30 to 4:30 am PDT, we were treated to a barrage of meteors, from bright little spikes of light to radiant bolides that streaked halfway across the starry skies leaving long smoke trains that lingered in the air and then dissipated. The stream was sporadic however, and we noted several five to ten minute intervals with small counts breaking the 100-200 meteors per hour rate that seemed a good approximation to the average observed. I was certain that the rate was close to the 500/hr in periods between 3:30 am and 4:30 am predicted by some. Jacumba has very few bright street lights currently and the zodiacal light shone so brightly it was almost distracting. I decided to sketch the scene, and after finishing the foreground ridge on the eastern side of my property and the position of Leo on the horizon, I began to record the trajectory and brightness of the meteors that fell within the field of view of my sketch during the interval between 1:45 am and 3:15 am PDT. You’ll note that Leo would have risen about 25 degrees higher off the horizon during the sketch session, so the drawing does not accurately reflect that movement. Despite the restricted field of view, you can see that I was able to record a nice variety of Leonids during the hour and a half period. In the future, I’ve decided to try sketching one hour intervals with larger fov’s, that way I can record hourly count variations.

I hope most of you had clear weather and were able to see this awesome event, it’s one that will remain in my memory as the best I’ve ever witnessed.

Sketch details:
Subject: The 2009 Leonid Meteor Shower
Date: 11-17-09 Time: 1:30 to 3:15 am PDT Location: Jacumba, California
Naked eye sketch
Media: Conte’ Crayon and dry pastels on Strathmore 400 series black Artagain paper
Sketch size: 9″ x 12″

A Radiant August

Meteor Shower

August 1894 Meteor Shower
Drawings by A. L. Colton

On page 294 of the previous publication is a note by Professor HOLDEN on the observations of the August meteors of 1894. The charts drawn by Messrs. COLTON and FERRINE showing the paths of the meteors observed by them at Mount Hamilton, and the diagram of frequency- curves compiled by Mr. POOLE, are reproduced in miniature in this number. It is, perhaps, to be regretted that the scale is so small; the illustrations will, however, convey a good general idea of the work which was done. The reduction of the observations will be made with the aid of the original charts, which are on so large a scale as to meet every requirement. J. M. S.

As published in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific – Volume VII – 1895, pages 58 and 77, Available via Google Books.

Down a Jagged Path


The Meteor of July 27, 1894
Illustration by Chauncey M. St. John

THE METEOR OF JULY 27, 1894, 7h 30m P. S. T.

A great number of observations of this splendid meteor were received at the LICK Observatory, either directly, or through the kind offices of Hon. A. S. TOWNE, Hon. C. F. CROCKER, Hon. R. THOMPSON and others. Some of the best were not available till the middle of October. Very complete observations of the meteor’s position and appearance were made at Mount Hamilton by seven observers. Professor AITKEN of the University of the Pacific sent the only complete observation received here, viz., the altitude and azimuth of the meteor when it exploded, and the same co-ordinates of the point where it disappeared. Many good determinations of the point of explosion were received, the best being those of Professor FRIEND (Carson), Mr. CARLETON and Mr. BURCKHALTER (CHABOT Observatory), Mr. GEORGE BRAY (Santa Clara), Mr. W. B. JOHNSON and Mr. STONEROAD (Merced), Mr. HERROLD and Mr. HERRING (San José). Drawings of the brilliant cloud left by the explosion were received from Professor SCHAEBERLE (Mount Hamilton), Mr. JOHNSON (Merced), Mr. STEWART (Visalia); and excellent accounts of this cloud from Dr. O’BRIEN (Merced) and others. A beautiful and artistic water-color drawing of the phenomenon has been presented to the Observatory by Mr. CHAUNCEY M. ST. JOHN, which represents the general appearance in a most satisfactory way. The determinations of the place where the meteor disappeared were not so satisfactory, the reasons being, no doubt, that everyone’s attention was riveted on the cloud left by the explosion, and because the meteor divided into two portions near the end of its course.

When the last reports were received it was possible to fix with considerable precision the point where the meteor exploded. This point is in the zenith of a place about half a mile south and about half a mile west of the N. E. corner of T. II E., R. 8 S., M. D. B. and M. The explosion took place when the meteor was a trifle over 28 miles above the Earth’s surface.

It is not so easy to fix the place where the meteor fell. Bakersfield, Hollister, Los Gatos, Madera. Merced, Minturn (two observers), Mount Hamilton ( E. S. H.), San José (two observers), report that the meteor moved north as it fell.

College Park and Mount Hamilton (R. H. T. and A. F. P.) report that it moved south in falling.

Borden, Carson, Crow’s Landing, Fresno, Livermore, Los Baños, Oakland (CHABOT Observatory), Riverside, San Andreas, Santa Clara, Vallejo, Visalia, report. th.e direction of its’fall as substantially vertical; and, in default of more accurate data, I have assumed this to represent the facts.

The meteor disappeared before it reached the Earth. The fragments produced by the explosion were probably volatilized by the time they reached a height of some 6 miles above the Earth’s surface. It is hardly likely that any large fragments reached the Earth. If so, they should be sought for within a circle of some 12 miles in diameter, whose centre is the point previously described. If the observations of the point where the meteor disappeared had been more accurate, the place of the fall would have been better determined.

The meteor was seen by several observers long before it exploded—probably when its height was over 70 miles. The position of the radiant-point is R. A. 16h 0m, Declination +34°.5.

With these data I have calculated the orbit of the meteor. As the data are (in general) not very precise the elements of the orbit are but approximate. The orbit is assumed to be a parabola. The elements are:

Pi = 130°,
Omega = 125°,
i = 20°,
q = 1.016.

The meteor was then a little nearer the Sun than the Earth it was near perihelion, and moving in an orbit inclined some 20° to the ecliptic.

The Regents of the University have authorized the printing of a pamphlet on this subject, which will (in due time) be sent to our correspondents. This pamphlet will also contain the observations of the August meteors of 1894 made by Professor SCHAEBERLE at Monte Diablo, and by Messrs. COLTON, PERRINE and POOLE, at Mount Hamilton.

From The Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Volume VI, 1894, pages 268-270 at Google Books

Perseid Meteor


This is the biggest meteor I ever saw, he lasted for 5-7 sec.
his tail looked like a comet.
I have 14 years and this is one of mine first sketches!
Time: 19:57 p.m
From: Serbia
Seeing: clear with some clouds.
Medium used: Graphite pencil and then inverted colors in paint.

Alexander Andjelic