Supermoon & Geminids August 2014

It’s a couple days before the peak of the Geminids, one of my favorite meteorite showers I watch each year.  Fortunately and unfortunately the supermoon is full and setting right after dawn each morning, so the sky and ground is filled with lunar light!  I saw a couple of shooters but they were not as brilliant as usual due to the lunar light.

As I watched the sky, I realized the amount of nighttime light was probably how most folks in the suburbs see the sky on a good night!  I’m reminded how spoiled I am to live where I do on the Palmer Divide at nearly 7000 feet above sea level, in the forest far away from the city!

Perseids

2014 Perseids Shooting Star

Perseids shooting star

Perseids shooter over Cassiopeia. Very bright, about 1+ second.

Supermoon 2014

Supermoon August 11, 2014

Shooting Stars – Orionids 2011 and Geminids 2010

Those that have known me for a while know that it’s rare that I let a descent meteorite shower pass me up without at least trying to check it out.  Of course the weather has to cooperate and it is a late night so work/day life has to cooperate too! 🙂

Last year I started mounting a camera and have been successful at getting a few of the elusive shooters.  Here are some of the shots that I’ve taken where I’ve gotten a shooting star.  Any tips that others use?  I just mount to the tripod, zoom all the way out (18mm stock lens), use autofocus to get the focus and then turn it to manual focus mode, then take pictures using a timer.  Camera settings I’m still playing with; for the Orionids 2011 I used a low value for F-stop and a high ISO value at 30 second exposures (almost too long).  For the Geminids 2010 I used a little higher F-stop but again 1600 ISO and 30 second exposures.

Orionids Orionids