13-August-2012

Perseid Meteor Shower.

I know that I said that I was going to go out to get more images of Clearwing Hummingbird moths, but the sky was finally clear last night and I had an opportunity to view the Perseid Meteor Shower. I set up two cameras on the back deck — a D4 with a 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye and a D800 with a 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens. Each was set to take 30 sec images (ISO 400, f/2.8). With the D800 and 14-24 lens I took the time to take a set of images to find out where I got the best focus for stars at infinity. For the 16 mm fisheye lens I just used infinity on the lens. This was a mistake. The images I got with the 14-24 lens where I spent the time to test the focus were a lot better, especially with the 32 MB sensor on the D800.

The first image below is a single exposure with a meteor trail using the D800 & 14-24 mm lens. I really don’t understand the physics of other images on the internet of the Perseid Meteor Shower that show long exposures of the night sky (1-6 hours) that show multiple meteor trails where both the stars and the ground/landscape don’t move.

I have included several ~1 hour star trail images that are composites of the 30 second images (using the Startrails.exe program). The sky in New Jersey is not that dark, and the glow in the bottom of the image is the light from Princeton and Trenton. If you look close, several do show 1 or more meteor trails that were visible in New Jersey.

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Perseid Meteor Trail. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)
Perseid Meteor Trail. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Image taken with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec). (David J Mathre)

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Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 2113h and 2200h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 2113h and 2200h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

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Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 2200h and 2300h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 2200h and 2300h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

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Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 2300h and 2400h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 2300h and 2400h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

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Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 0000h and 0100h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 0000h and 0100h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

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Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 0100h and 0200h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 0100h and 0200h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

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Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 0200h and 0313h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)
Startrails Looking For Perseid Meteors. Summer Night Sky in New Jersey. Composite of images taken between 0200h and 0313h with a Nikon D800 and 14-24 mm f/2.8 lens (ISO 400, 14 mm, f/2.8, 30 sec) using the Startrails program. (David J Mathre)

Friday (17-February-2009) — New Jersey

Backyard Winter Night Sky in New Jersey: Star and Jet Trails.

I used a 16 mm Fisheye lens to take acquire some winter night sky images. The images were combined using the startrails.exe program to get the star trail images. The first image is a composite of 15 60 second images relatively early in the evening. The next three are composites of 16, 35, and 300 second (5 minute) images.

Winter Sky Star and Jet Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D700 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/2.8, 60 sec). Composite of 15 images processed with Startrails program. (David J. Mathre)
Winter Sky Star and Jet Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D700 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/2.8, 60 sec). Composite of 15 images processed with Startrails program. (David J. Mathre)
Winter Sky Star and Jet Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D700 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/2.8, 300 sec). Composite of 16 images processed with Startrails program. (David J. Mathre)
Winter Sky Star and Jet Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D700 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/2.8, 300 sec). Composite of 16 images processed with Startrails program. (David J. Mathre)
Winter Sky Star and Jet Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D700 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/2.8, 300 sec). Composite of 35 images processed with Startrails program. (David J. Mathre)
Winter Sky Star and Jet Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D700 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/2.8, 300 sec). Composite of 35 images processed with Startrails program. (David J. Mathre)
Winter Sky Star and Jet Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D700 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/2.8, 300 sec). Composite of 14 images processed with Startrails program. (David J. Mathre)
Winter Sky Star and Jet Trails. Image taken with a Nikon D700 and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens (ISO 200, f/2.8, 300 sec). Composite of 14 images processed with Startrails program. (David J. Mathre)

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.