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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
Thread started 11 Dec 2013 (Wednesday) 14:41
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Geminid meteor shower this weekend

 
Intheswamp
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Dec 11, 2013 14:41 |  #1

I just thought I'd mention that the Geminids will be peaking this weekend in case some of you want to get some meteor shots. Naturally the days surrounding the peak should also be active. I was out looking (actually *trying* to get a shot of Andromeda galaxy) last night and saw a nice one through some tree limbs!!...wished I'd been on the other side of that tree!!!

The meteors will be radiating outward from Gemini and the peak time will be around 2am local time both Friday and Saturday nights (here in the USA). A gibbous moon will compete until very early morning drowning out the more faint meteors...the moon will be setting around 4am local. Wear a jacket.<grin>

Here's a link to an article regarding the Geminids...
http://www.universetod​ay.com …13-geminid-meteor-shower/ (external link)

Best wishes for clear skies,
Ed


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cacawcacaw
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Dec 13, 2013 16:01 |  #2

Here in Southern California, we've been having incredibly clear skies so it should be a good night for watching meteors. The moon is setting at 4:30 am (12/14) and the sun rises at 7:00. The Fluxtimator (external link) suggests about 5:30am for the best viewing.

I've never shot anything to do with astronomy and am wondering if I should mess around with my camera or just relax and enjoy the show. Any advice? I have a 7D and a good tripod, with a varied assortment of lenses. It sounds like it might be difficult to get a good shot so should I just use a fairly wide lens and shoot video? Any help on recommended settings or technique would be gratefully appreciated.  :o


Replacing my Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm with a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I still have the 17-55 and the 30 available for sale.

  
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Intheswamp
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Dec 14, 2013 09:59 as a reply to  @ cacawcacaw's post |  #3

Well, Friday night/Saturday morning has passed but if you're going to be out there watching tonight I'd go ahead and set the camera up. If you have an intervalometer available (in camera or remote switch) I'd set it up contant long exposure shots with one your wide and fast lenses. You might as well have something to remember the evening with...and you might catch something really nice!!! :)

Me and my wife were in Atlanta working at the Operation Christmas Child distribution center yesterday and was in route home last night...the weather had turned against meteor viewing before we got home....we've got 80% and 60% chances of rain for today and tonight. Enjoy the show and get some pictures so folks like me can see some meteors, too! ;)

Best wishes, clear skies,
Ed


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Intheswamp
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Dec 14, 2013 10:23 as a reply to  @ Intheswamp's post |  #4

I'm a rookie at it, but...use one of your wider, faster lenses wide open (maybe one click stopped down). If you have an in-camera intervalometer or an external remote cord then take these exposures one after the other. You might want to take a test exposure of the sky to see how the stars are exposing. The problem with longer shutter speeds is that if you shoot for too long of an exposure the stars will start showing movement and end up being blurred. Wider lenses are good for longer shutter speeds. To prevent star blur you could use the "Rule of 600"...divide 600 by your effective focal length (don't forget to figure the 1.6 factor in for crop cameras). You could tighten this up by using 500 to have a bit more of a safety factor.

Using 500 as your numerator....
500/17mm=29.4 seconds (full frame)
500/(17mm*1.6)=18.38 seconds (crop body)

Using the 500 figure you should be able to round up/down these exposures and not have a problem. Hopefully I haven't erred in anything I've written you...if I have hopefully someone more knowledgeable will comment and correct me. :)

With the intervalometer set your camera up and let it do the work while you're enjoying the view. ;)

Ed


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cacawcacaw
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Dec 14, 2013 11:42 |  #5

Some friends invited me to a newly refurbished bowling alley downtown and, after a few drinks, 4:00am came a bit too early. I was able to see one (I think) through the window but never got the camera out.

A bit more reading showed that many of the best meteorite photos are simply excellent night sky photos that just happen to have a meteorite in the image. The meteorites make for wonderful icing on the cake but they aren't terribly interesting by themselves.

Two very good images both had shutter speeds of 30 seconds, one with a 15mm lens at f/2.8 and 3200 ISO, the other at f/3.5 and 800 ISO. That gives me a place to start if I get out tonight.


Replacing my Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm with a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I still have the 17-55 and the 30 available for sale.

  
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Intheswamp
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Dec 14, 2013 12:24 as a reply to  @ cacawcacaw's post |  #6

It sounds like you have a good grip on getting some shots. Yes, a simple light streak against a black sky isn't too thrilling. A good night sky shot that happens to contain a meteor or three in it is what we want. ;)

A clear, dark sky (low light pollution) helps.

It looks like after tonight we will be opening up to some clear weather. I may stick my lowly point-n-shoot loaded with CHDK out in the hayfield and see if it can catch some after-the-peak activity. I'll just set it out, start it shooting and come back a few hours later. Maybe use the dslr out beside the house for more of a hands on attempt. :)

Best wishes,
Ed


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Geminid meteor shower this weekend
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