Saturday (26-November-2011) — New Jersey

Late Autumn Night Sky over New Jersey: Star Trails and Meteor Trails.

Repeat from last night, but at ISO 400. Nikon 1 V1 camera with the 10 mm f/2.8 lens, and the following settings: ISO 400, manual exposure, 30 second exposure, f/2.8, focus infinity (Long exposure NR = off). I used the interval timer, but found that I needed to set the interval to 40 seconds because it takes ~10 seconds to transfer the image from the buffer to the memory card. This is unfortunate, since it leaves a gap if I tried to create stacked star trails (using the Star Trails program). I did manage to catch a few images of meteor trails. The meteor trails were distinct from the many jet trails. The first two were a pair, but faint, the third is caught in two images with the missing section due to the ~10 second delay between images. The late night and early morning images were combined to make a Night Sky time-lapse video.

Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)

Friday (25-November-2011) — New Jersey

Late Autumn Night Sky over New Jersey: Meteor Trails and Time-lapse Video.

I wanted to see how the new Nikon 1 V1 camera performs doing night sky photography. I set up the camera with the 10 mm f/2.8 lens, and the following settings: ISO 100, manual exposure, 30 second exposure, f/2.8, focus infinity (Long exposure NR = off). I used the interval timer, but found that I needed to set the interval to 40 seconds because it takes ~10 seconds to transfer the image from the buffer to the memory card. This is unfortunate, since it would leave a gap if I tried to create stacked star trails (using the Star Trails program). I did manage to catch an image of a meteor trail early (5:28 AM) in the morning. The late night and early morning images were combined to make a Night Sky time-lapse video.

Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Meteor Trail captured with a Nikon 1 V1 camera and 10 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 100, 10 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)

Wednesday (31-August-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Night Sky Over New Jersey.

Star Trails. Following Hurricane Irene, we had a couple of days and nights with very clear skies. You could even see the Milky Way (although a lot dimmer than in locations with less light pollution). I set up a Nikon D3s camera with a 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens to do star trails last night. The settings on the camera were manual (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, bulb). The exposure time was controlled with a MC-36 itervelometer (delay 5 sec, long 59 sec, interval 1 sec, N —). In camera long exposure noise reduction was turned off. The 1 second interval is required to allow the data to get transferred from the camera to the card, and effectively have one image taken every 60 seconds (1 minute). The MC-36 is required for exposures longer than 30 seconds. After the images were transferred to the computer, the RAW images were processed with Lightroom, and converted to JPG. The JPG images were then processed using Startrails.exe program to make composites. The following images show a single exposure, then startrail composites of 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 120 minutes, and 300 minutes. Some high level clouds came in for the  300 minute (5 hour) image.

North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Single image before using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Single image before using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 2 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails.  Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 2 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 5 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 5 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 15 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 15 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 30 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails.  Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 30 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails.  Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 120 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails.  Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 120 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 300 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails.  Image taken with a Nikon D3s camera and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 300 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

Wednesday (24-August-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Night Sky Over New Jersey.

Late August Star Trails. Since it looked like the sky was going to be clear last night, I left a camera out on the deck to get some star trail images. The first one was before midnight, and the second one after midnight. I did this set with a fisheye lens to get as much of the sky as possible. There is a tree in the front of the house that is blocking the northern star. I also used the images to create a time-lapsed video of the night sky.

North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 800, 16 mm, f/5.6, 30 sec). Composite of 326 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 800, 16 mm, f/5.6, 30 sec). Composite of 326 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 800, 16 mm, f/5.6, 30 sec). Composite of 326 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 800, 16 mm, f/5.6, 30 sec). Composite of 326 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

Saturday (13-August-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime Night Sky Over New Jersey.

Perseid Meteor Shower. Conditions for viewing the Perseid Meteors this year were not good. The moon was full with relatively high humidity and some clouds. I set two cameras up to take images overnight, and got maybe three images of meteors. I’ve made a time-lapse movie from the two image sets.

As a side note, I am running out of hard disk space. I could get another WD My Book external drive, but have run out of USB and Firewire ports on my computer. I’m thinking about a Dobro disk array. What ever I do, I also need to maintain an off-site backup copy. I worry about some of the cloud options, both due to cost and the fact that ATT limits me to 5 GB/month of broadband internet access.

Perseid Meteor and Bright Full Moon. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/2.8, 25 sec). (David J Mathre)
Perseid Meteor and Bright Full Moon. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/2.8, 25 sec).
Perseid Meteor. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 800, 24 mm, f/4, 29 sec). (David J Mathre)
Perseid Meteor. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3s and 24 mm f/3.5 PC-E lens (ISO 800, 24 mm, f/4, 29 sec).