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Author Topic: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013  (Read 9537 times)

jrista

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Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« on: August 10, 2013, 07:32:46 PM »
Just in case anyone likes photographing meteor showers, the Perseids peak on August 11th and 12th. I am not sure I'll be able to get any shots...Colorado has been experiencing pretty powerful thunderstorms every evening and through most of the night for about a week now. *sob!*  :'(

Anyway, if anyone manages to capture any night sky photos of the shower, I'd love to see some posted here! :)

http://www.space.com/22133-summer-meteor-showers-2013.html
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Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« on: August 10, 2013, 07:32:46 PM »

niteclicks

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 09:32:00 AM »
 I had clouds here again too. Every major event other than Pannstars has been a bust for me the last two years.
 The summer skies are my favorite but the humidity this year has been like shooting though a fish bowl. :(

jrista

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 12:12:27 PM »
I had clouds here again too. Every major event other than Pannstars has been a bust for me the last two years.
 The summer skies are my favorite but the humidity this year has been like shooting though a fish bowl. :(

Aye...too cloudy here as well. Totally agree about the humidity...I live in Colorado, which is usually pretty arid. This year has been very strange in that we have relatively high humidity (sometimes 90-100%). I am hoping that by the time October/November rolls around and Comet ISON fills the sky!
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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 12:43:29 PM »
From the you-think-that's-bad department......Florida Panhandle here.  In August, 90% humidity would be considered arid.  Just in case the unimagineable occurs and the sky clears up for one evening, we have Ninja mosquitoes just waiting for us to be foolish enough to set up scopes and cameras.  In all my years here, I have once and only once enjoyed astrophotography on an August night.  It was while a hurricane was crossing central Florida and sucking dry air over Pensacola, dropped to the low 60's that night, it felt frigid.  A few weeks later we were hit by Hurricane Ivan, took out the U.S. Interstate 10 bridge over the bay and knocked out power for weeks.  But oh how gourgeous the skies were after that.....dark, clear, no light pollution.  We slept in the screen room because it was too hot in the house, I still recall seeing the Pleiades rising through the branches of the leafless trees in my back yard.

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 12:52:49 PM »
I guess we should find out in a couple weeks how ISON is progressing, I hope it has brightened. November here in Oklahoma usually are some of our best skies and weather. I learned a lot with Pannstars and have better East views available , only down side I'm not a morning person. :-\

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 02:50:56 PM »
Timelapsed from about 10pm-4am here in Tennessee and I was definitely shooting between the clouds.  Looked at the footage and haven't seen anything novel yet... Any ideas on how to best capture a meteor shower?  Long Exposures?

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 03:20:09 PM »
I have seen other posts that had good skies , but no fireballs . I saw two about 3 min. apart @ 4:00 am when I got up to see if it cleared up, but it was so humid I went back to bed. Time lapse was what I was going to do, about 30 sec. exposure and 5 sec between. Have you stretched the exposures to the max to see if you caught any at all? I wasn't concerned with trailing, more with continual coverage and 28mm on full frame the trailing in that part of the sky wasn't that bad .

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 03:20:09 PM »

CarlTN

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 03:59:00 PM »
I am hoping that by the time October/November rolls around and Comet ISON fills the sky!

I look forward to ISON as well...

jrista

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 07:42:23 PM »
Timelapsed from about 10pm-4am here in Tennessee and I was definitely shooting between the clouds.  Looked at the footage and haven't seen anything novel yet... Any ideas on how to best capture a meteor shower?  Long Exposures?

Actually, shorter exposures at higher ISO are ideal. I usually shoot showers at ISO 3200, with 4 to 6 second shutter speeds. I attach a wireless intervalometer, set it up to take a shot as frequently as possible, set it to maximum number of exposures, and let it rip. (The wireless intervalometer is great for the Geminids, when it can be below freezing outside. You can handily sit inside your car and control your camera without having to venture back out into the cold except to reposition the camera.)



The reason to use higher ISO and shorter shutter is to normalize "time on pixels". You want the amount of time on pixels for the meteors to be as high as, or higher than, the amount of time on pixels for stars. The longer you expose, the longer stars will have time on pixels, where as short-lived meteors will have less, in relative terms. The longer the exposure time, the dimmer meteors will be. The photo above was ISO 3200, 4 seconds. The photo below is what you get with a longer exposure time (in this case, not much longer...6-8 seconds I think, however it was also a dimmer meteor than the one above. A 4 second exposure, at ISO 6400, might have been better.):



Getting shutter speed right is key. Too short, and you run a greater risk that the inter-exposure time (mirror flap down, intervalometer delay, etc.) will occur when a meteor streaks. Longer, and you are more likely to capture a meteor...but they tend to be too dim to really be exciting. To maximize your potential, having two cameras, at 4-6 second shutter speeds, high ISO, but alternating exposure intervals, will ensure that one camera always has its shutter open, maximizing the chance of capturing a meteor as it enters the atmosphere.

Here are a couple more shots. These were all of the Geminids last December. I have not had a chance to capture any other showers this year. Either too cloudy, or I missed the date. I think the Draconids, which are a slower show, with slower moving but often bright streakers, happens soonish (October?). I'm hoping that the sky is clear when that one occurs... The Draconids had a ZHR of 100 last year, which is pretty high! (About 1.5 meteors per second.) Not sure if it will be that good this year or not.


« Last Edit: August 13, 2013, 07:55:54 PM by jrista »
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jrista

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2013, 07:59:43 PM »
From the you-think-that's-bad department......Florida Panhandle here.  In August, 90% humidity would be considered arid.  Just in case the unimagineable occurs and the sky clears up for one evening, we have Ninja mosquitoes just waiting for us to be foolish enough to set up scopes and cameras.  In all my years here, I have once and only once enjoyed astrophotography on an August night.  It was while a hurricane was crossing central Florida and sucking dry air over Pensacola, dropped to the low 60's that night, it felt frigid.  A few weeks later we were hit by Hurricane Ivan, took out the U.S. Interstate 10 bridge over the bay and knocked out power for weeks.  But oh how gourgeous the skies were after that.....dark, clear, no light pollution.  We slept in the screen room because it was too hot in the house, I still recall seeing the Pleiades rising through the branches of the leafless trees in my back yard.

I bet that dark, light-pollution-free sky was pretty freakin amazing! Got any photos?

I'll admit, 90-100% humidity is not as bad as many places along the east cost. It is still pretty bad, though. Two weekends ago we had really high humidity. I just had to walk out side and stand there, and I'd be dripping within five minutes. That is pretty much unheard of out here in Colorado. Things are usually bone dry. :P

What has been nice is the weather...Colorado went through about a decade of weird weather...less and less summer rain, until last year we literally got nothing between the second week of June through the first couple weeks of September. It was blistering hot, our water reserves dropped by five to six feet (hundreds of millions of gallons at least), etc. The rain this year has been like a kick back to the 90's...when it rained like clockwork at 4pm every summer evening. Not quite as clockworklike this year, but regular enough that we get rain almost every day.
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CarlTN

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2013, 10:47:45 PM »
Even a dark sky is never dark enough for a really long exposure...so agree with Jrista...shorter exposures are best.  The issue isn't so much the brightness of the stars, but the air of the sky.  (Even with zero light pollution, the sky still lights up, whether from the star light, or other phenomena).  If there were no air, then the brightness of the stars in a longer exposure would take precedence. 

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 12:43:18 AM »
Wish I had taken some like these...gotta love the Andromeda Galaxy...and the Milky Way shot is very nice despite the ugly light pollution on the clouds to the right.  Neither of these shots actually puts the meteors themselves at the forefront of the composition, however...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yahooeditorspicks/galleries/72157635065238094/with/9501308605/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/yahooeditorspicks/galleries/72157635065238094/with/9503169037/lightbox/

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 02:44:02 AM »
I didn't catch any meteor this time, but a nice shot of the Milky Way over the mountains as the clouds rise in the valley :
http://500px.com/photo/43180156

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 02:44:02 AM »

BrandonKing96

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 03:49:54 AM »
sigh i was going to try and take photos of what I could (living in Australia), but it got cloudy very quickly, even though the day was super clear!
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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 11:29:39 AM »
Thanks for the reminder jrista. My brain is getting ever more forgetful. I just divided up the time by my card size and was going to go with that. Guess its just as well that it clouded up, saved me a lot of time sorting photos in frustration. :o

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Re: Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 11-12 2013
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2013, 11:29:39 AM »