Date: 12 Aug 1989
Time: 23:21:55s UT
Exposure: length (not recorded) @ f2.4
Equipment: 4 cameras with 50mm FL f2 standard lenses
Film: T-Max 100
Film: T-Max 400
Film: Fujichrome 400
Film: Kodak high speed infra red, used with infra red filter.
Site: Prestwich, Manchester, England
After my success last year in photographing a Perseid meteor with infra red film, I decided to take it one stage further. I wanted to compare the infra red image with an ordinary one. A bracket was made to hold four cameras on a tripod, each loaded with a different film : Kodak high speed infra red, T-Max 100, T-Max 400, and Fujichrome 400. To take an exposure I first covered all the lenses with a sheet of black card, and after opening all the shutters, I removed the card. This was the only way I could be sure of starting the exposures at the same time. At the end of the exposure the procedure was reversed.Michael Oates.
After exposing a full 36 exposure film in each camera, I had recorded two Perseid meteors, both of which I saw visually. The first was just a plain streak on the films but the second (shown here) was a very bright image showing multiple flares with an explosion at the end. As I saw it visually, I would say it was a fireball, but could not give a visual magnitude estimate.
There is quite a difference between the infra red image and the other taken in white light. The infra red image shows hardly any flaring. The T-Max 100 film recorded a better image than the T-Max 400 mainly due to sky fog hiding the trail somewhat. The Fujichrome image shows that the colour of the trail changes as it passes through the atmosphere.
An enlargement of the T-Max 100 image shows an interesting feature. The flares seem to form a spiral around the main meteor trail. Could it be that the meteor was spinning very quickly as it moved along ?