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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perseid Meteor Shower 2009

A friend and I went fishing a couple of nights ago on the evening the Perseid Meteor shower peak was supposed to happen (August 11-12). I caught 8 catfish, he caught zero :). Anyways, couldn't really see any near the Spring Hill lake we were at and left there about 11 p.m. and headed back out at 12 a.m. for the "big show" on top of the dam at Melvern Lake about an hour SW of here. One has to get away from the light pollution in major metro areas for the best viewing. So that looked like an ideal spot to view them and for the most part was. Unfortunately, a half moon rose around 10, and really killed the potential for seeing really bright ones.

Nevertheless, I caught 5 on the camera, shooting at 1600 ISO (800 wouldn't show up) at f/2.8. I tried 1600 ISO at f/4 on the old XT with the Sigma 10-20 lens and caught nothing. It was super nice out, light breeze, 70 degrees, no clouds, only a moon that destroyed some great meteor potential and forced me to shoot shorter exposures while loading up my 4 gig SD card quickly. The Xsi battery died after about 3 hours of shooting, so I had to switch to the XT for about 45 minutes (I'm never prepared lol).

Just before dawn, I was setting up for the northern horizon because I knew it would be sweet to get one with some morning light in it. As I was setting up, Derek yelled to look up and an earth grazer shot clear across the sky from the NW to where it ended in the NE. It was the best one of the night, figures.

And last night, I was outside for maybe 20 minutes and saw at least 5 incredible, fireballs from the city, which were brighter than most I saw the night before. According to others, last night was much better for viewing the Perseids. Sigh. Maybe next year I'll be more prepared and try to choose a better location with something cooler for the foreground. Here are a few shots from 1 a.m. - 5:30 a.m. on August 12th.

Full size, no crop at 17 mm:

Perseid Meteor Shower

~ 75% crop on a different (more faint) one:

Perseid Meteor Shower

~ 50% crop with two meteors in the same shot:

Perseid Meteor Shower

Our viewing area from the dam:

Perseid Meteor Shower

I shot some decent lightning photos around midnight on the 10th that I'll be adding onto here sometime in the next week or so.


Scott Ack said...

Great shots man. I tried for three hours and didn't capture diddly squat.

Tyler said...

Don't have to wait till next year, the Leonids in November are predicted to peak at 500 per hour. Good Work catching those, I was using the UWA sigma at 10mm f/4 and didn't get crap, Going to have to a get a 35mm f/1.8 for the Leonids!

Cristine said...

Great shots. What is the best camera to use to take images?

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