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Astro/night photography at Brasstown Bald

  • Aug 11, 2012 · 8:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

I've chosen this night because we can catch near peak Perseid meteor shower and also get our Milky Way/startrail shots in before the moon rises at 2:11am. The sun is scheduled to set at 8:26pm so the stars will be seen around 9:15. The best times for viewing the meteors will be early morning from the northeast.

Click on this link for more information about the Perseids. You can plan to come spend a couple hours then head home or even stay through the evening. Up to you since the National Forest Service does not close the gate.

More to come as we get closer. I just wanted everyone to be able to plan for the evening. As always with astrophotography, we'll have to keep an eye on the weather.

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  • Rupali

    There is beautiful meteor shower tonight, 23rd May 2014. Is anyone in this group going tonight?

    May 23, 2014

    • Danielle

      I'm planning on going. What time is best to be there by?

      May 23, 2014

    • Carl F.

      No sense in rushing. Milky Way won't be visible until 9:30. I plan to walk up to the visitor's center at dusk and shoot the MW for a bit. The meteor shower will be early morning but we should still some. Just hope the weather cooperates.

      May 23, 2014

  • Eddie R.

    will meet for the next meteor shower?

    September 9, 2012

    • Carl F.

      Eddie, I'm not sure what your question is since this event is in the past.

      September 10, 2012

  • Radha

    Carl, Thank you soo much for arranging this meet up and for being there to help around with insights, tips and technicality of astro-shoot. I look forward to more events with you and with the group !

    August 13, 2012

  • Mick F.

    Carl, thanks for organizing this event. I really appreciate your patience and the time you spent with each one of us. I'll definitely be at the next one!

    August 13, 2012

  • Mark W.

    Couple options for later this year. Temps will be cold for these at Brasstown. November 16/17, 2012, late night November 16 until dawn November 17 Leonids
    Like most meteor showers, the Leonids ordinarily pick up steam after midnight and display the greatest meteor numbers just before dawn. In 2012, however, the waxing crescent moon will setting at early evening, leaving a dark night for Leonid meteor shower.

    December 13/14, 2012, late night December 13 until dawn December 14 Geminids
    The peak might be around 2 a.m. local time on these nights, because that’s when the shower’s radiant point is highest in the sky as seen around the world. With no moon to ruin the show, 2012 presents a most favorable year for watching the grand finale of the meteor showers. Best viewing of the Geminids will probably be from about 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. on December 14.

    August 13, 2012

  • Carl F.

    So when is the next meteor shower, Oct 7. The Draconids arrive and the best time to view is the early evening. The moon rises before midnight so it will wash out much of the sky.

    http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/when-is-the-next-meteor-shower-2012

    August 13, 2012

  • Carl F.

    For anyone who might be interested, I'm attaching a web link to the Deerlick Astronomy Village located each of Atlanta, just off of I-20.

    http://www.deerlickgroup.com/

    August 13, 2012

  • Ruth W.

    Carl, thanks for the tips on taking night photography. I left around 4:00 A.M and ran into heavy fog. I thought that everyone that was still on the mountain would see the fog shortly. Thank you for the idea of astrophotography at Brasstown Bald.

    August 13, 2012

  • Ruth W.

    The weather was fantastic: cooooool weather. I had a wonderful time.

    August 13, 2012

  • Carl F.

    I ran across this image in FB this morning and then found that the photographer has a Flickr accounts. It's pretty coo.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidkingham/

    August 13, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Well you couldn't have asked for a better viewing night. Startrails were going to be tough to come by given all the vehicles arriving, even as late as 3am. We got some great shots of the Milky Way and some meteors found their way into our viewers. The moonrise at 2am caused some light pollution and clouds moved in around 4:30. I gathered my stuff and headed to the car for a nap before heading home at 6am. Let's so those pictures everyone.

    August 12, 2012

    • Carisa G.

      Ali and I enjoyed meeting you last night! Thank you so much for all the tips and setting up this meetup! I look forward to many more.

      August 12, 2012

    • Carl F.

      Same here. I enjoyed talking photography with the both of you and to hear how you approach teaching the HS kids. Tell your kids that we would love to have them come visit one of our SPS meetings.

      August 13, 2012

  • Karen S.

    I had a ball! Thanks so much Carl for all your helpful advice and for arranging such clear skys.

    August 12, 2012

  • Christina D.

    That was an excellent, enjoyable experience. Great meetup - everyone was so helpful and available to help fine tune settings and get the most out of a starry, starry night. Carl, you are so helpful. Thank you.

    August 12, 2012

  • Veera M.

    Thank you Carl for this wonderful event! This brought back memories of seeing stars like this 30 years ago! I can't wait to do it again.

    August 12, 2012

  • Rajesh G.

    This was an amazing night out, I had never seen the sky so beautiful, there were infinite stars, the milky way and the meteors, all made up for a remarkable viewing experience. I had a pretty good time shooting pictures yesterday.

    I would like to thank Carl for his very generous help to one and all, from simple tips to even setting up shots for few people, Carl went out of his way to help others, thanks a ton Carl! Without you this wouldnt have been possible.

    August 12, 2012

  • James B.

    I had an absolutely great time! Thanks Carl for the pre-shoot tips. I am not used to not being able to see my subject to focus! I will definitely want to try this again. I will be better prepared for cooler temperatures next time though! Brr...

    August 12, 2012

  • victor

    Perfect conditions.. got there a little after dark - stayed until moon was up around 0230. Thanks Carl.

    August 12, 2012

  • Mark W.

    Great viewing. Was hoping for a little more frequency on the timing of the meteors but the sky was nice and clear.

    August 12, 2012

  • Harriet D.

    Thanks to Carl for a really wonderful experience! Such a beautiful night sky plus meteors for that extra added attraction. Carl couldn't have been more helpful and sharing to those of us who had no clue what we were doing! Great learning experience - just hope next time we can do it in the summer!

    August 12, 2012

  • Pauline S.

    Thanks to Carl for the instruction and patience. Learned a lot about Astro photography and would like to do it again. I think I left too early (midnight) to capture any great pics :(

    August 12, 2012

  • Greg C.

    Thanks Carl for a wonderful event. The weather could not have been more perfect. I certainly learned more this time and expect at least to have a few shots worth keeping. Other than the unexpected traffic, it could not have been a better outing, not counting the 3:00 AM return time. Thanks for putting on this Astro night, I look forward to attending the next. I hope to have some pictures processed soon. Greg

    August 12, 2012

  • Carl F.

    The visitors center parking was very busy compared to previous trips to BB. Probably 100 vehicles and 200 people looking to watch the show. The clear skies brought in cooler temps so some people were not prepared. The overall meteor shower was good but disappointing during the early hours when it was supposed to be at it's best.

    August 12, 2012

  • Carl F.

    For those of you who need the free software for stacking their images, http://www.startrails.de/ You can also use this software for any other non-evening images you want to stack.

    August 12, 2012

  • James B.

    We had a great time! Wasn't prepared for the cool temperature but still had a blast. We stayed till 1:00am and by then had seen several nice meteors.

    August 12, 2012

  • Carl F.

    2 thumbs up. Be there around 6:30.

    August 11, 2012

  • Carl F.

    While it looks to be cloudy here in the metro Atlanta area for the moment, the NWS satellites show a high pressure area moving in from the NW this afternoon. I think we're going to be primed for some nice shots tonight.

    August 11, 2012

    • John M.

      It's still very cloudy here. I'm about 10 miles from the summit. Hope they move on soon. Looks like from the satellite shots we're right on the edge.

      August 11, 2012

    • John M.

      Yep, the sky has cleared up now. We look good for this evening :)

      August 11, 2012

  • Eohan

    Anyone wants a ride from atlanta ? I'd be starting around 4:30-5 and returning tomorrow morning.

    August 11, 2012

  • Ron B.

    Contact[masked]

    August 10, 2012

  • Ron B.

    I'll probably be departing Roswell about 6:00 PM. I have space available, if anyone needs a ride, but I will be staying until about 8:00 AM to get the sunrise from the top. I missed it last Sunday.

    August 10, 2012

  • Ron B.

    Hi everyone, I went last Sunday and got some really good shots from the top, but I had a hard time finding the place. I set the coordinates in my GPS (2012 Highlander) as N 34degrees 52minutes 5seconds X W 83degrees 48minutes 35seconds at the visitor center parking lot. It took about 1.5 hours to get there.

    August 10, 2012

  • Elizabeth M.

    Virginia, Pam and Tanu,
    Thanks for replying! The best thing to do would be to stay overnight in the area to see both the Milky way and the meteor shower in the morning. Unfortunately, I won't be able to do it because I have commitments on Sunday. I hope there would be another opportunity in the future.

    August 10, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm not sure yet about attending. However, I checked the weather and it is supposed to be partly cloudy. How has it been previously?

    August 10, 2012

    • John M.

      The weather is suppose to clear up for tomorrow night. I actually am staying in the area for the weekend. Looking out the window, it's currently partly cloudy. I'll try to post again tomorrow with an update.

      August 10, 2012

  • Pam W

    Elizabeth, I do , but am a little iffy on going. Having some chemo related issues , probably won't know until tomorrow afternoon if I feel up to it. What time frame were you considering being there?

    August 10, 2012

  • Elizabeth M.

    Hello,

    Does anybody live in the Woodstock, Roswell, Alpharetta area? I've never been to Brasstown Bald park and if possible I would like to drive with someone. Thanks!

    August 9, 2012

    • Virginia Sutton W.

      I do. My car's in the shop & I just found out I won't get it back until next week. I have been there before, in April.

      August 10, 2012

  • John M.

    Ok, I have a simple question. I know the normal pattern for the bald is to park at the visitor center and walk the 1/2 mile trail to the tower. Is it possible we can drive up to the tower (via the shuttle route). Figure I'll be there most of the night and would be nice to have the car nearby.

    August 8, 2012

    • Virginia Sutton W.

      No prob. I'm planning on being there early--I'll start up it, and if it doesn't work, there's a spot at the end of the parking lot that I like. Also, some of y'all's shots from last year with the peak in the picture were pretty awesome!

      August 9, 2012

    • Carl F.

      I'm going to shoot closer to the parking lot entrance this year so that I can have the visitor's center more dominant in my image.

      August 9, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Here's a start to your checklist for the evening:

    ◦Camera body(s), know how to turn your long exposure noise reduction on & off
    ◦Wide to ultrawide angle lenses, you'll be shooting in manual focus at infinity so know the sweet spot setting on your lenses
    ◦Tripod(s)
    ◦Shutter release(s)
    ◦Batteries, fully charged
    ◦Memory Cards
    ◦Flashlights, you can never have too many. Try to cover the light with a red gel wrap in order to help maintain night vision for you and everyone else around you.
    ◦water and snacks
    ◦chair, jacket, throw blanket if you plan to stay awhile

    August 9, 2012

  • Virginia Sutton W.

    I sure am glad we've had this flurry of posts. I had it down for the wrong weekend.

    August 8, 2012

  • Christina D.

    I don't have a wide angle lens yet - should I even consider this? I have 18-55 and a[masked]

    August 7, 2012

    • Carl F.

      John's right. 18mm is more than enough. If you're using a cropped sensor, that will get you a focal length of 27mm-29mm depending on the sensor. In taking pictures of the Milky Way, I always shoot panoramas anyway and have Photoshop stitch them together.

      August 8, 2012

    • Virginia Sutton W.

      For what it's worth, I'm programming a so-called "legacy lens" into my camera, because I don't have a good digital wide-angle, either. And if that doesn't seem to be working well, I'll switch back to my 18-70mm.

      August 8, 2012

  • victor

    Remember this is a National Forest Fee area.. bring some bucks for the parking or get a National Parks Pass.
    http://www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm

    August 7, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Thanks for the update Donna. Please change your RSVP if you don't mind.

    August 7, 2012

  • Donna H.

    We will not be able to attend 8-11. Looking forward to the next Star Trek. Strange question do you by chance have family from Iowa? My uncle was a Carl Fredrickson.

    August 7, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Veera, we'll be shooting from the parking lot and not the visitors center ( you can if you want though). That way we have easy access to our vehicles. I don't you'll need the wagon but a chair would be a good idea.

    August 7, 2012

  • Veera M.

    I'm so excited! How far is the trek from the parking lot to where we are going to setup? I was thinking about bringing a kid pull-wagon for my equipment and a small chair. Is the terrain ok for a kid size wagon?

    August 7, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Hello star trekkers. Looks like the long range weather forecast for us is very favorable, http://www.intellicast.com/Local/Forecast.aspx?location=USGA0636. Sunset is going to be at 8:29pm. I'll plan to be at the southwest portion of the parking lot at 7pm. That's when I'll fill in everyone on the process of shooting startrails and the Milky Way. At 7:30, I'll plan to hike up to the visitors center if it looks like we'll have a nice sunset. Good star shooting won't really begin until 9:15 or so. My plan will be to shoot as long as I can, catch a nap in the car, and then hopefully catch the meteor shower in the early morning. Of course, everything is subject to change.

    August 7, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Ron, it's open 24/7 unless of bad weather. Be kind enough to turn your headlights off when approaching the parking area.

    July 27, 2012

  • Ron B.

    I'm planning on going up Saturday Morning, July 28, 1012, for some sunrise pictures. Are the entrance gates open at 5:00 AM?

    July 27, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Danielle, no you don't. We're looking at wide expanses of the sky so the wider the lens, the better.

    July 26, 2012

  • Danielle

    Do you need a telescopic lens?

    July 26, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Rose Marie, I wouldn't anticipate anyone doing any light painting or flashes.

    July 11, 2012

  • Carl F.

    Not sure what you mean Rose Marie. Typically, no one will use flashes.

    July 10, 2012

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