Taking Pictures of the Leonids

Discussion in 'Community' started by Mr. Anderson, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #1
    Ok, anyone out there who's tried this before, chime in. I'm thinking it might be a great opportunity to get some great shots, if the weather allows, and I'd love to share them on line here.

    So, not being unfamilliar with photography, but not having any practical experience shooting the heavens, I was wondering if anyone has had any success getting good pics of stars and meteors before. And if so, what sort of film is preferable and at what settings, etc.

    I'm hoping that someone will have an chance to take some pics and post them here, there seem to be a few astromoners of varying degrees around, and I'm thinking one of us should be lucky.

    Go check www.space.com for more info about the event on the 18th and 19th.

    D
     
  2. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2001
    #2
    I've done a bit of film like this. I was using a 30-second exposure though and I'm not sure if that would work for what you're doing.
     
  3. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #3
    I'd take pics, but unfortunately I'll be getting a digicam in a couple of months...not soon enough :(

    As for exposures, the longer you keep the shutter open, the more streaks you'll get in your pic. But open it too long and all the stars will streak (a little) because of the Earth's rotation.

    A good common ground is half a minute I guess...You should take a couple of pictures at varying shutter speeds. You can adjust the stutter speeds on your camera, right?;)

    Also its best to have a bulb triggered shutter, but so few have that anymore...:(
     
  4. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    Oh, I have all the equipment, a decent manual camera, a remote for taking the pic and a bulb setting so I can leave the lens open as long as I want.

    I understand the point of the star rotation, but in order to get a chance at catching a meteor, you have to have it open for a bit. My concern was how long should I keep it open for a given film and apeture setting. These are the tricky things.

    I've taken open shutter shots before - have to try and dig those up, basically planes landing at night and city scenes from above. Nice stuff, but its not something I've done recently.

    I'll just have to bracket the shots a lot and hope a couple come out. That or maybe if I get a chance, go out the night before and take some test shots to see how it works.

    Anyone know what the best film would be?

    D
     
  5. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #5
    I envy you, here under the city lights not much of a chance to even view the Leonids.
     
  6. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #6
    That's not true at all. I could go to the Mall in DC and see plenty - but I'll go down south a bit on the Potomac to one of the parks along the trail to Mt. Vernon. Since the show is going to be happening to the ESE, it should be fine.

    We're looking at 4 - about 5:30 am Tuesday morning. The weather is going to be totally crappy all weekend here, I just hope it clears before Tuesday.

    D
     
  7. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #7
    So it rained all weekend and I never got a chance to take practice pics of the stars - so it will be all or nothing tonight. I plan on getting out there around 3:30 and setting up, a friend of mine will be joining me. And if the weather holds, it was a perfectly clear sky all day today, it could be perfect.

    Any one else look like they're going to get any opportunities?

    D
     
  8. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #8
    oh yeah...I'll be heading out to the lakefront tonite...

    gonna grab a FAT latté...setup with my tripod...got my batteries all charged up...

    and it should be a clear night...the past 2 days & nights have been absolutely clear as can be....as is today... ;)
     
  9. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #9
    Its partly cloudy here so I don't have the most ideal conditions...

    Also I'm in the middle of the US so the Moon will by up higher than over on the east coast...but no matter.

    It'll still be a nice show, but not as spectacular as the 1998 fireball shower :D That was awesome.

    As a wise man said, "quality over quantity" :). Although this will hopefully be a high quality show, people in my department are predicting from 100 to 300 meteors a minute here in the Twin Cities. Hope they're right!
     
  10. Zenith macrumors 6502

    Zenith

    Joined:
    May 18, 2001
    Location:
    Norway
    #10
    Well, it's about time to get out and take a look at the sky now. The peak will be around 4.45, but now's a great time to spot some earthgazers...

    Have a good night all, and good luck with the weather and such!
     
  11. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #11
    Looks good - I'm really looking forward to this one - I just hope the forcast is right. Get some kripsy kreme and some coffee - 3AM whoohoo!

    D
     
  12. JamesDP macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    #12
    Don't get your hopes up too high, Duke. I was in Mexico this weekend camping and even in an area with only 8 visible lights within 50 miles, I saw 1 meteor. The full moon just washes too many things out. I was disappointed in the number of stars that were visible, too. We also had consistent 30-40mph winds both nights too, so maybe that caused some problems. Your mileage may vary.
     
  13. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #13
    James,

    The difference is that this is a meteor shower, and there will be a lot of them. The chances of being able to see some is high...if you were in mexico tonight, you'd have a beautiful sight. ;)
     
  14. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #14
    Not only that, the full moon at 4 AM will be behind us and almost setting, so I imagine we'll see a bunch if there aren't any clouds. Also pre-dawn could be fantastic, get some interesting colors and a couple good ones.

    And a good one can out shine the moon, so if it shows, we'll see it.

    I'm now crossing my fingers.

    D
     
  15. Zenith macrumors 6502

    Zenith

    Joined:
    May 18, 2001
    Location:
    Norway
    #15
    Aaaargh..! It's 4.15 AM now and it's really cloudy here in Trondheim (Norway)... I won't go to bed yet since the forecast expects partly clouded weather at about 6 AM. But it doesn't look good.. :(

    There's many years since the last time i saw a really good meteor shower, and it seems like it could be a long time to the next time too. Last year's Leonids missed on my home city, so I was only able to see three or four meteors during a three-hour period. Man, I was patient that day...

    Oh well, I've heard that the Leonids in about 30 years will be an even better show! :p
     
  16. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #16
    Back from the stargazing and all I have to say is eh - that and damn it was cold laying on a picnic table staring up at the sky for an hour...

    It was only ok - and I didn't get any pics, cause it never got that good to break out the equipment. I saw maybe 2 good ones that were fairly bright and a maybe, maybe a peak of 15 in one minute.

    Oh well.

    Tonight though is a lunar eclipse - maybe I'll go out and take pics of that.....

    Anyone else have any better luck?

    D
     
  17. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #17
    I'm just as disappointed as the rest of ya'll :( I saw...two meteors in a half an hour. WTF??? :confused:

    What happened?
     
  18. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
  19. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #19
    all I can say is...

    DAMN this New Orleans weather!!! :mad:

    it was so beautiful for the past few nights...clear as can be yesterday...

    then all of a sudden...there's this thick cloud of crap hoovering over the city...and it's warm...

    we need a cold front to find it's way soon...supposed to be tomorrow I believe...
     
  20. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #20
    Guess I did better than you guys...saw between 40 and 50, and my girlfriend told me of at least that many that I missed while futzing with the camera. ;) I drove back about 50 miles into the mountains/desert.

    Only got one little streak, but got some good night sky shots...
     
  21. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #21
    nice shot rower - that just about looked like most of the ones I saw - talk about hype!

    Anyway, looks like the lunar eclipse will be behind clouds tonight - figures. Oh well, maybe next time.

    D
     
  22. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #22
    Thank you for posting the photo in this forum. I like it. Anyone else have a photo to share?
     
  23. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #23
    ha, please - you're just being nice to rower. Any good brush stroke in photoshop could do better ;)

    go to www.space.com if you want to see some more pics - they actually have a few goods ones, which is a bit surprising since after an hour of viewing during the peak of the storm I really didn't see anything that good.

    D
     
  24. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #24
    Hey! You making fun of my one little, itty-bitty, barely discernable meteorite!?!?! :p

    Sad thing is that I cropped that out of a 2560x1920 image...and posted the full-size image. :eek: :(
     
  25. Mr. Anderson thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #25
    Ha, that is funny :D

    So what did you take the shot with? What speed film, apeture and shutter speed.
    I notice that there is a little bit of stellar movement, that must have been a long shot.

    D
     

Share This Page