04-January-2012

Winter Night Sky — Star Trails — Quadrantids Meteors.

The sky was clear last night so I set up two cameras to record the night sky. The SpaceWeather site reported that the Quadrantids meteor shower should peak in the early morning hours. The Nikon D3x with a 24 mm f/1.4G lens was set up to look north above my roof. I used an external power supply for this camera so I wouldn’t need to change batteries during the night. The second camera was a Nikon D3 with a 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens looking south. For both cameras, I used the MC-35 remote set for 59 second exposures, once a minute (the extra second is needed to transfer the image from the camera to the memory card). It was cold (getting down to 10° F), and I was glad that at least one camera was using an external power supply. I had to change the battery in the D3 every 2 hours, and even then it was so cold that the battery ran out before the time. The following are a meteor trail image and a time-lapsed video of everything from the night.

Quadrantids Meteor Trail. Night Sky Over New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/2, 59 sec). (David J. Mathre)
Quadrantids Meteor Trail. Night Sky Over New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 24 mm f/1.4G lens (ISO 100, 24 mm, f/2, 59 sec). (David J. Mathre)

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

2 thoughts on “04-January-2012”

  1. Very cool! You have such dedication, I could never stay up and deal with batteries and bitter cold in the middle of the night–let alone have it actually be successful.
    DHB

    1. Thanks, You did manage to stay up late and get up early for the eastern Sierra workshop. I think it took more time on the computer today to put this together than to actually take the images. I am using this to learn video processing using Adobe Premiere Pro. I am way behind keeping up with posting something on my PhotoBlog every day. I am also posting images to a variety of “Daily Photography Themes” on Google+ http://plus.google.com/100158294387095221291
      DJM

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