back to article Reg reader captures Perseid meteor

We're very much obliged to reader Bill Pinnell who, despite our doomongering yesterday, was able to capture this splendid snap of a Perseid meteor at 4:33 am this morning in Worcester Park, Surrey (click for a bigger version): Perseid meteor captured by Bill Pinnell. All rights reserved Good effort. ® Bootnote Bill's …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What camera...

    ...pray tell, did he use? And what aperture/ISO/shutter speed? The metadata is no help to me! I might have a go tonight if it stops raining...

  2. Colin MacLean


    Looks like a spear of frozen urine flushed from a passing jet.

  3. alan 39

    Ah but

    how tall is he? i dont want to be looking at photos from illegally tall photographers or they could do me so they could

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Like fishmongering but with doves?

  5. Paul Naylor

    EXIF data?

    Need to know what his exposure settings were!

    (Lovely pic BTW!)

  6. Craig 12


    I didn't stand a chance with the cloud and light pollution in Brum :(

  7. SteveC 1
    Thumb Up

    Me too!

    I was also up at 3am to try and snap the meteor show. Sadly, my only capture was nowhere near Bill's standard so I'll just get my coat.

    It was quite clear in London this morning though - just a shame the sky has a red tinge to it thanks to the light pollution.

    Anything from a 20 to a 30 second exposure seemed to work - longer and you risk star tracks appearing.

    Mine's the one with the pathetic meteor picture in the pocket :(

  8. LuMan

    @Walter Ramekin

    Yeah, but how, exactly, does one 'mong' a fish?

    Answers on a frozen chunk of ice hurtling through the cosmos, please..

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Jonathan 17

    Why havent the police arrested him yet?

    Come on, he took a photo. With a camera. He was looking at the sky so it must have been a public place. And who goes out at 4:33AM - sounds suspicious to me. This guy has dodgy written all over him - who owns a camera these days?

    Really, just arrest him so that the rest of us can live safer. If hes got nothing to hide, he shouldnt be taking photos.

  11. A. Lewis

    Come on folks...

    I was about to post a similar 'can we have a full version with EXIF / more camera details' comment, then I realised: hang on, I'm a geek, this is the internet.

    Presto manifesto: Bill has the file on flickr, along with the full metadata:

    Badgers paws? Don't mind if I do!

  12. Bill B

    @EXIF data

    He was probably fully clothed.

  13. MPT

    copyright issue

    Glad you cleared that one up as I thought he was claiming legal rights over all asteroids in the sky.

  14. Jack Harrer


    Obviously photoshopped.


  15. scottboy
    Paris Hilton


    Which way was he facing? Add another request for the exposure details.

    Paris, because she can open her aperture wider than most.

  16. ed2020


    You didn't try hard enough. I'm in Brum and I saw several around midnight.

  17. Billz

    Some more info

    For those that are interested, the photo is a crop of a full frame shot taken with Nikon D3 with 85mm f1.4 lens (at f1.4). 8 seconds exposure.

    I purposefully took shots around Polaris to reduce the amount of star trails - I wasn't using a tracking mount - just normal photographic tripod.

    I used the Nikon MC-36 wired remote to automatically take multiple shots.

    There were some larger (and slower) trails which I have captured sections of trails in 5 consecutive shots but these don't show such good colours as they don't burn so hot as they are not going through atmosphere so quickly.

  18. Winkypop Silver badge

    Nice pic, shame about...

    ...that nasty light artifact right across the field of view.

    Oh, you mean...

  19. dxmnkd316

    Iridium Flare

    Looks a lot like an iridium flare...

  20. Shady


    Surely, with doods?

  21. Luther Blissett

    Just one flaming meteor?

    One swallow doth not a shower make, as Andrew Marvell might well have observed, perhaps somewhat icily in view of the hour, to his coy mistress.

  22. N2

    4.33 Am?

    Ye Gods, that takes some doing, must have had a good supply of black coffee.

    Nice shot & agreed, meta data & camera info would be handy

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Or, come to that, what is a coster that one may mong it?

    ... wikity-clickety, wikity-clickety ...

    Oh. QI, I suppose. Thanks for prompting me to Learn Something New Today.

  24. dxmnkd316

    Re: Iridium Flare

    But then again, it isn't as balanced as I would normally expect a flare to be. Last time I tried to photograph the Perseids I came up with a few poor shots of meteors and a good shot of a flare.

  25. Lloyd

    Hold on now

    Was he on his back, drunk in the garden? That looks suspiciously like a washing line under a flash.

  26. patc57

    Streaming live

    Planning on streaming it live from the top of a big hill tonight if you can't be bothered to look out of your window. This is, of course, subject to there being any 'Three' broadband coverage which is unlikely but hey, it's working out my back garden for now!!

  27. Anonymous Coward

    I for one

    welcome out firey arsed overlords raining destruction down on us

  28. Andus McCoatover


    It was pissing down last night, and still is here in Oulu, Finland. 100% cloud cover, and the forecast is just as bad for tonight.

    Lovely piccie, however.

    I remember going to the Burton Dasset* hills near Gaydon, Warwickshire, UK and watching this 25+ years ago. Bloody spectacular, and negligible light pollution. Wonder if I'll ever see this again in my lifetime.

    * We used to call them the "Dirty Bassets", 'cos we would've needed Tesco's XL condoms there for a bit of 'doggie-style' when the visitors had cleared off, but that's another story...

  29. Billz

    Re: Iridium Flare

    @dxmnkd316 Blimey I haven't ever looked into Iridium Flares so went to the Wikipedia images for a look and thought they look a lot like my photo. eek

    Just visited Heavens Above though and put in my location - it looks like there was a satellite around 3:40am but it was ESE and lower elevation - so i <think> my shot is a meteor trail. But feel free to expose me as a fraud !

  30. Bob H



    It's the rift!!!!!


    It is coming to get us!!!


    I'll get my coat!

  31. Number6


    I got some pretty pictures of stars last night, but I was tucked up in bed at 4am this morning! Using a 300mm lens and 30 second exposure is enough time that all the stars are slightly elongated, I did learn that while playing with different bits of kit and settings. I was using a Nikon D60 with the supplied lens for most of my session.

  32. Pete Wilson


    Yep, full EXIF info at

    Strangely, he posted it to Flickr *before* taking it, according to the page:

    Taken on

    August 12, 2009 at 3.33am BST

    Posted to Flickr

    August 11, 2009 at 5.47am BST

    Wish my camera could do that. Damn, these Nikons are getting good! Mebbe it's Asimov's thiotimoline in use (you know, the stuff that dissolves *before* you add water)

  33. jake Silver badge

    Re: Iridium Flare

    Nope. Satellite flares have a fairly clear "on" and "off". Bill's pic fades in and out, indicating something entering the atmosphere, heating up, and burning out.

    On the other hand, seeing as iridium is more common in space than here on earth, I s'pose it's possible that it was a sand-sized hunk of the element burning up ...

    Too foggy here in Sonoma to see all but the brightest stars in the ~25 degree circle of the sky straight overhead. I stayed out for awhile around midnight, but gave it up as a waste of time.

  34. Billz
    Thumb Up

    timeline looks ok

    when I look at metadata page - has both as the 12th.

    The only thing I was worried about was the timestamp that had it as 3.33 when in reality it was 4.31am - but I imagine I haven't set the camera to BST properly.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Can't trust what you see on the internet

    When I look at

    I see:

    Taken on

    August 12, 2009 at 3.33am BST

    Posted to Flickr

    August 11, 2009 at 5.47am BST

    Something to do with the international dateline and/or IE vs Mozilla I suppose.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Nice pic!

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Iridium Flare

    Click the "Iridium flares in the last 7 days" link and it'll tell you when they were at your location. Chances are, probably not Iridium.

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