Perseids Meteor Shower 2013

  • August 11, 2013 · 9:00 PM
  • Massabesic Lake, New Hampshire

More info and a movie from David Kingham:

OK, I decided on a place where to try this out. There is no ideal place anywhere near the Boston area. I have a favorite spot in Rockport, but it's very rough terrain, not so suitable to hang out for hours. I decided to go a little further north into New Hampshire, as ambient light is less than in the Boston urban area. I selected this lake for its proximity, easy access, and decent foreground. See end for details and images of the meeting place.

The peak of this year's Perseids meteor shower is in the wee morning hours of Monday the 12th, hence, the Sunday evening meetup time. Let me know if you would rather meet at midnight / in the early morning hours, which would be fine with me.

Please understand that you won't see meteors unless you stay until 3-4 a.m.! Make sure you can get to work late on Monday or count on being up all night before you sign up. I anticipate leaving the site when it gets light, 2 hour drive back home to arrive ready for breakfast. :-) Alternatively, if there is enough interest, we can just stay overnight and hang out together for breakfast.

This is a great opportunity to shoot star dots, star trails, Milky Way, time lapse and all with some meteors in it.

Plan to bring your sleeping bag and mat, food and drink and perhaps something to read and bug spray, flashlights. Your car will be parked right across and you can doze or crash in your car, too, as your camera is running, somebody will likely be there to watch it.

Equipment:

If you have two cameras, bring them both, one for portable shots of the surrounding and one to just keep shooting the sky with a wide angle to capture anything that might happen facing east, where the meteors will be most visible. Hiking boots are a must, this is uneven terrain.

1-2 cameras, spare batteries!, tripods, intervalometers for star tails and continuous shooting, wide angle lenses, flashlights (head lamps are not permitted!), spare batteries! Please bring a very dim flashlight if you need it to control your camera. Dim means: very little light. This is a dark night and you will blind yourself and others if you constantly use bright lights. A single LED key chain light or such works well, better yet: your cell phone screen, which is bright enough to see the lens dials but doesn't shine all over the place. Best solution: an astronomer's (red) light. Most-best solution: learn to control your camera without looking. :-)

This will be a dark night with a 23% moon setting at about 10 p.m., perfect to view the shower, which has traditionally been one of the best. We may also be able to shoot the Milky Way in both directions. Here are two links for more info:

http://www.astronomy.com/~/link.aspx?_id=[masked]cc0-4aa0-b97b-c7cf1d725d4c

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-perseid-meteor-shower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Massabesic Lake, this is the parking lot right at the lake, where we will hang out. The lot itself is closed after dark, but you can park right across (left of the "A"). This view is north-north:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the lake view due east and north during the day:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the view due east at night. I am hoping for no clouds, which would make the scenery much darker:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the view north-east, which is where the shower will be centered. Note the "W"on the left edge of the photo right in the northern Milky Way, that is the radiant point and it will move up into the sky as the night progresses, should be straight up at 3 a.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is the southern Milky Way (incl the street):

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  • Jackie C.

    It was very nice Location I had a great time too Thank you Jurgen

    August 13, 2013

  • Anthony K.

    It was nice to meet everyone and I had great time there last night.

    August 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey guys. I'm so looking forward to meeting you all. I had already made plans to head up to New Hampshire last night, before hearing about this group, and opted to go further north for darker skies (although next time I'm going even farther). I just posted a few from last night showing the amazing Milky Way with several Perseids. Not sure how to then go in and edit to provide more info, but I'll figure it out once they are in. These were shot just east of Lincoln NH on Route 112.

    August 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So, almost all of us had problems with lens condensation last night. First time for me, but apparently not at all uncommon in astrophotography. Here is a solution:
    http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/11288/how-do-i-prevent-condensation-on-a-lens-when-outdoors

    However, either Prajyot or Prashnant last night suggested to simply cover the lens with a piece of cotton cloth. For him that worked. Homework for everyone: try that out or find other solutions and post them here. Thanks.

    August 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      My immediate reaction to the dew was to think that I should have brought my hand warmers, which are a normal part of my winter equipment. I'll try that out next time. Seems a much easier solution than lugging around powered heaters.

      August 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a great time, saw a lot of meteors, and learned a lot. Thanks, Anthony and Jackie, it was fun working together. Thanks Jurgen, as always, for all the help.

    August 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    That was fun guys! Let's see some cool pictures....

    August 12, 2013

  • Anthony K.

    I am here at the parking lot.

    August 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Make sure to park across the street, the main site will be closed at night.

      August 11, 2013

    • Anthony K.

      Yes, I parked across street.

      August 11, 2013

  • D.J. M.

    I may show up a little past 9PM, but I'll be there! I'll also be bringing an inverter, so if you're worried about your batteries just bring a standard charger.

    August 11, 2013

  • Michael K.

    Not sure on my arrival time. I have to leave for NYC for the day in the morning so I will be pulling an all nighter with no rest. Will try to sleep early and get therefor midnight ish.

    August 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Bring a sleeping bag, let the camera do its thing and doze off... Enough people there to watch your stuff.

      August 11, 2013

    • Michael K.

      will do thanks

      August 11, 2013

  • Anthony K.

    Who want to be there early for sunset shoot?

    August 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      No thanks, it's already going to be a very long night... :-)

      August 11, 2013

  • prajyot

    What time you guys will reach there?

    August 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Prajyot: nobody suggested a different time, so it will be 9

      1 · August 11, 2013

    • prajyot

      Thanks for getting back to me Jurgen. I am planing for same the same time.

      August 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    not feeling well and my shutter release is not working

    August 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    To shoot stars, trails and meteors, you try to maximize light, which means aperture around 2.8 to no more than 7.1. I usually stay at 4-5.6, depending on how much foreground I'll try to get in. High ISO, usually 1600-6400. Above 6400, it gets too noisy. Many people take one for the foreground (f/11, long exposure) and mask out the sky, then stack that with the actual star dot/trail/Milky Way shot, which is taken at high ISO and wide aperture. Exposure time for star dots: rule of thumb is 600/focal length to shoot dots and avoid seeing trails (example: 24mm lens, max time is 600/24=25s; 43s for a 14mm lens (full frame)). For crop sensors, the rule becomes 400/focal length (17" and 29"). If you want trails, shoot as long as you can or as long as ambient light / highlights allow you without blowing out. That is what I'll do with one of my two cameras, probably 4 minute exposures at around ISO 400 (gives you both foreground and sky). Add light painting of the foreground to taste.

    1 · August 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here are the products you can shoot:

    * Individual frames with star dots and Milky Way (high ISO, 600/FL seconds, f/[masked]). This captures meteors only if you shoot back to back frames.
    * Star trails: back-to-back frames with any exposure length - this will also capture meteors.
    * Time lapse from short exposures in bullet 1
    * growing star trail movie from either bullet 1 or 2 frames.
    * Light painted foregrounds: work in both bullets 1 and 2.
    * Combined meteor streaks, correctly aligned: the meetup page has the link to Dave Kingham explaining how to (embedded movie) - that's also the first image shown.

    More info:
    http://www.lightstalking.com/how-to-photograph-star-trails
    http://www.jamesvernacotola.com/Resources/How-To-Photograph-Star-Trails/12233655_V7cX4D
    http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-photograph-star-trails

    1 · August 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm not going to this one. My family is threatening me if I do. They have plans.

    August 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      yup!

      August 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Where am I gonna get the headlamps for sacrifice to the night photo gods now??? :-)

      1 · August 9, 2013

  • Anthony K.

    This is my first time shooting the Milky Way and I will be right behind you this time, Jurgen ;-)

    August 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      ...and I will be right behind YOU when you set your tripod up 1 ft off the ground... :-)

      August 8, 2013

  • prajyot

    Really want to learn Night time photography. Hope to learn something form the experts.

    August 5, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Experts? What experts?? :-)

      2 · August 6, 2013

    • prajyot

      lol....You all :) I saw imager from the group. It's just amazing...

      August 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I knew headlamps would not be tolerated...:-)

    August 5, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for sticking up for me pal. :-)

      August 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ok, but I'm bringing my head lamp! LOL

    August 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Head lamps will be sacrificed into the lake to appease the night photo gods! :-)

      August 5, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Plus, they would hurt during your beauty sleep!

      August 5, 2013

  • Anthony K.

    This will be a great opportunity for night photography and I am not going to miss this.

    1 · August 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    OK, I'm coming too. I really do want to try star trails again.

    July 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      We'll do them together!

      July 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds great!

      July 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have to be back here on the 12th in the AM so I have to skip this. I need my beauty sleep.

    July 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      You have no idea how beautiful it makes you when you sleep next to your tripod shooting stars!! :-)

      July 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      You crack me up!

      July 31, 2013

  • D.J. M.

    I'm up here in NH, so if you need me to scout any areas let me know.

    April 27, 2013

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