Leonid 2012 by Mike Hankey
Nothing can change the thrill or experience of experiencing an intense meteor, meteor outburst or fireball with your very own 2 eyes while wrapped in a sleeping bag on a cold winter early morning. These visual thrills are the advantages of meteor observing, and while that a person fireball experience will make up for 10 frostbitten toes, we can not constantly pay for the costs related to visual observing that include time, missed sleep and often physical suffering. Is it worth it to remain up all night in the freezing cold to see some flashes of light cross the sky? Of course it is. Is there a much easier way to observe a meteor shower that needs less of an investment in time and energy? Yes there is.With the
introduction of digital photography, taking photos of meteors has ended up being a lot easier and more affordable, and as a result, a new observing technique and art form is taking shape. Digital meteor photography can supplement or replace visual or video observing sessions. The advantage of cam observing is basic– when you finish your session, hopefully you will have several meteor photos that you can study and share. The image will not only be a piece of science, but a piece of art.One can certainly discuss the pros and cons concerning the different meteor observing techniques– which is most efficient, precise, enjoyable or scientifically valuable. I believe the finest observing method is connected to the objectives of the observer. If you are just worried about hourly rates, then radio observing is most likely the finest technique. For those who want the experience, absolutely nothing can top visual observing. Meteor scientists tend to favor all sky camera video and think the perfect exposure time for a meteor is a fraction of a 2nd. While it’s real a DSLR can miss low magnitude meteors, and it will not be able to evaluate the meteor velocity (without adjustment), the DSLR will tape the meteor place relative to other stars with a degree of accuracy much greater than an all sky camera.People have been taking photos of meteors for decades, however with the onset of digital
video cameras this task is now much simpler and less expensive than ever before. As a ruined astronomer raised in the electronic age, I cannot fathom how somebody could have dealt with movie based astrophotography twenty or more years ago. The immediate feedback system of a digital camera and its ability to take hundreds or even countless photos in a single night are critical to success with meteor photography. We never know the specific minute when a meteor will shoot across the sky, so, if we desire to capture one on video camera, we should photo the sky all night long.The expense of capable DSLR cameras, lenses and devices has come down over the last few years, and you can obtain all of the standard devices required for meteor photography for around$1000.
Of course those with a taste for the high-end might spend twice that on simply a lens, however for the sake of this article we will keep it simple.To take excellent pictures of a meteor shower, at a minimum you will require the following devices: DSLR Video camera Quick, broad angle video camera lens Intervalometer Tripod Big capability sd card (16 gigs or much better)Bonus Batteries, A/C power supply, or DC power adapter & big battery Dew heating unit Little hand towel An evaluation or suggestion of cams
mounted on a tripod, then you can utilize it for meteor photography.Mike Hankey with Perseid Meteor at Sentinel Dome, Yosemite National Park– August 12th, 2012 The cam lens is the single most essential investment you can make in your meteor photography rig. There are two aspects of the lens that are most essential– the f/ratio and the field of view (FOV ). We will start with the FOV due to the fact that it’s simple: the broader
the field of vision, the more sky you can catch and the more meteors you will catch per hour. Unfortunately, as
you go wider you lose resolution because more sky is being positioned into the very same variety of pixels, in impact making each object smaller. While many of us desire to image the whole sky, frequently a better quality image can be taken with a smaller sized field of view.The f/ratio or lens speed is usually composed on the lens as a ratio(for example, f/2.8), and represents the focal length divided by the aperture. The f/ratio can be a tough idea for brand-new professional photographers, however what it implies in meteor photography is this: with a faster lens you will catch fainter meteors. If the f/ratio is expensive, you will miss out on most meteors. Preferably you desire something in the