Sunday, August 16, 2009

Perseids Meteor Shower -- It's Still Going!

I thought I'd try and capture a shot of the Milky Way tonight ... I've been wanting to get one for quite some time. I wasn't really in the mood for a long drive out of town, so I popped over to highway 12 and found a secluded location with a wide shoulder to set up the tripod.

I planned on a few shots of the southern and western skies, but the Milky Way was best seen straight up because of light pollution, so I shot that scene too.

While I was putzing around with this, I suddenly saw an incredibly bright streak across the western sky. It started and stopped within 2 seconds and covered at least 1/6 of the sky. I realized in a moment that this was a Perseid! The tail end of the meteor shower can last a few days, so I figure this was just some random luck. Unfortunately, the camera was pointed about 45 degrees away at that moment.

Later, I had the camera open to the southern horizon and I actually caught a small, second Perseid. But it was very dim, and so was I. Instead of closing the shutter immediately, I let it soak up light for 20 more seconds and washed away whatever might have been on the sensor. *Sigh* ... I did get this shot, though:

Not much to look at, unfortunately.

So I turned my attention to the sky above me and shot a couple of decent RAW images that look quite nice when stacked in photoshop. The Milky Way is clearly visible and it all looks rather like an astronomy class :-)

I must say, though, that I somehow feel privileged to have seen two meteors in the space of half an hour ... the first two of my life I am embarrassed to say.

1 comment:

crazy football mom said...

Cool picture!! Last Monday, Greg and I saw a orange/red glowing, round thing in the sky that sort of arced it's way south to north and disappeared, without making a sound. It may have been Margarita-induced, but we both saw it, so to us, it was real!