No Perseids, but the Camera Picked up the Flowers on the Hillside Nicely

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    We went down to Wingra Park to see some Perseids and hopefully capture an image of at least one. We did see some meteors, but the display wasn't anything to write home about, at least not at the time we were there -- 10:30-11:30 p.m. local time.

    In accordance with the oldest rule of skywatching, practically every time I looked down at the camera to adjust the settings T saw a meteor pass overhead -- "There's one!" Thus she saw about eight, one quite large with a fireball, while I saw two, one quite faint. The D90 saw none, but did pick up the flowers in the oak grove on the hill rather nicely in the dark -- so it wasn't a total loss.

    But it was frustrating. Although I took a few photos showing the trees to give some context, mostly I shot 30-second exposures with the camera on a tripod pointed almost straight up, an ultrawide zoom at its widest, 10mm. Basically it had a better field of view than I did (though I could move my eyes, of course). Didn't help. I would have put the camera on bulb and shot even longer exposures, but with all the ambient light 30 sec. was about the limit. Eventually we stopped and gave the park back to the mosquitoes.

    2009yip/224

    Cybergabi and readerwalker added this photo to their favorites.

    1. longrieg 57 months ago | reply

      Hey! Nice try for all that. I was out around 11:30 also, may have seen the same huge fireball that you saw. It traveled across most of the sky and left a faint trail behind. I thought I heard some acoustics from it but that could easily be my imagination. The viewing was so so, only one sighting every couple of minutes. In the past I have seen them appear at the rate of several per minute, very exciting to take a child out to see. I wonder how the space station feels about this shower? There is a quiet, much darker place to set up out by Yahara Hills if you are interested in such, send a pm, I'll go out there with you. Only encounters two mosquitoes in about a half hour stay.

    2. RedHatGal: Barbara Butler/FireCreek Photography 57 months ago | reply

      Glad someone tried. I would have liked to, but afraid to out alone in the wee hours. They suggested after 1:00 a.m. here on the west coast.

    3. Cybergabi 57 months ago | reply

      Wow. This is so amazing.
      PS - I miss you and T, and the rest of the Madison bunch. I had such a great time up there.

    4. megankhines 57 months ago | reply

      yes i was largely disappointed also by the "shower" which was more like a "leak"

      i think i saw like 4 or 5 and i was out between 9:30-11:15

      kind of sad. ho hum.

    5. Jer*ry 57 months ago | reply

      The profession of astronomy requires great patience, more than I have. You did get a nice star field though, considering the urban setting.

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