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Friday, December 14, 2012

Geminid Meteor Shower 2012

Today's post consists of 3 photos that I took last night (out of a total of 281 overall shots) while trying to capture meteor streaks from the Geminid meteor shower.  While the overall statistics are disappointing (just over 1% of the photos I took last night contained what I was hoping for) I did see probably around 75-100 during the several hours that I spent outside trying to capture the meteor streaks.  Of course, that is also offset by the last picture in which I actually caught two of them! (which I did not even notice until I went through each photo today)

Some things that I learned while taking these shots were:

- Ensure the camera battery is fully charged
- Dress warm and in lots of layers
- Use a higher ISO than normal (I should have gone up to 800 or even 1600)
- Anything more than about 20 seconds produces star trails (see higher ISO setting)
- Find somewhere that is really dark
- Dress warm and in lots of layers
- Have a chair to sit on
- Use a flashlight (with a red lens/light) if you have to move around
- Try to be patient (I am really working on this one)
- Dress warm and in lots of layers

While I was setting up I saw 3 really bright meteors in about a 30 second time period that passed right through the constellation Orion.  I did not see a single meteor the rest of the night that passed through Orion. Hindsight is of course 20-20, but I certainly wish I had been set up and ready and been able to capture that photo! I tried to capture photos with Jupiter, the Pleiades, and Orion in them, but when it came down to it, I tried to crop the photos so they would retain one (or more) of those center points in the shot.

I did a very small amount of processing (primarily cropping) with these shots, and (as my first attempt at meteor photography) I am pretty happy with the results.  All in all I feel pretty lucky in that I was able to get 3 total shots of meteors and one shot with two of them in a single photo!

Meteor Below Jupiter and the Pleiades

Meteor Streaks Through Trees (Lower Right Corner)

Two Meteors To The Left of Orion

Please feel free to click on the photo above to view it in various sizes. Clicking on the photo also takes you to my online gallery, hosted over at smugmug, where you can browse this (and other) photos that I have posted. If you enjoyed viewing this photo, please take a moment and leave comments and/or feedback. Please also feel free to pass the link of this photo on to others if you so desire. Thanks for stopping by!!

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