Wednesday (04-January-2012) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Night Sky in New Jersey: Star Trails and Quadranitids 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)

Saturday (03-December-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Night Sky in New Jersey: Time-lapsed Video and Star Trails

It is hard to believe that it is December. I have not posted anything since Thanksgiving. A lot of end of year activities at work, still more to clean up in the yard after the early snow storm, and finally getting caught up with the Drobo external data drive recovery and new Drobo backup. I have a few images taken with the new Nikon 1 V1 camera that I need to go back and post, along with some pros and cons about the new camera.

The sky was clear, so I put two cameras out early this morning after the moon went down for night sky images. These images were used to put together the following time-lapsed video.

North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 125 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 125 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 88 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
North View Star Trails. Summer Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3 and 16 mm f/2.8 mm Fisheye lens (ISO 400, 16 mm, f/4, 59 sec). Composite of 88 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Late Autumn Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/5.6, 60 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Late Autumn Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/5.6, 60 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Late Autumn Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/5.6, 60 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Late Autumn Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/5.6, 60 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Late Autumn Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/5.6, 60 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Late Autumn Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/5.6, 60 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Late Autumn Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/5.6, 60 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
South View Star Trails. Late Autumn Night in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/5.6, 60 sec). Composite of 60 images combined using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

Today (19-November-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Night Sky in New Jersey: Time-lapsed Video and Star Trails

Wide-angle night sky time-lapsed video looking south in New Jersey (~600 1 minute images taken with a Nikon D3x and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens at 15 mm and f/5.6). The moon was from another night (video taken with a Nikon D3s and 600 mm f/4 telephoto lens). The overall video sequence created using Adobe Premiere Pro.

The images were also combined in groups of 100 using the Star Trails program to create the following south view star trails. The orange background is due to clouds being lit from the towns to the south. In the last two images the moon is visible.


Saturday (05-November-2011) — New Jersey

Backyard Autumn Night Sky in New Jersey: Time-lapsed Video of the Stars, Star Trails and the Moon

It was clear and I had several cameras out capturing the night sky. I used the images to create the time-lapsed video.