Perseids Meteor Shower

Another astronomy highlight was the Perseids Meteor Shower occurring in August and this year we were lucky, as it was new moon and so it was quite dark outside, here in that rural region.

The maximum hit rate was announced for Monday morning around 4:30 GMT, I knew that I’d not wait that long.
Starting around 23:15 CET by setting up the equipment – tripod, camera, beer, I thought the Olympus OM-D E-M1 loaded with the M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 should give enough width at 12mm to cover a nice area of the sky around Perseus constellation in the north-eastern sky.

Trying some settings to get the most out of the night sky, I ended up with focal length 12mm (corresponding to 24mm FF), aperture wide open at f/2.8, between 10 and 20 seconds exposure time and ISO 1600. Following the rule of 500, stars start to move on an image when the exposure is longer than 500/focal length. So 20 seconds seemed to be the maximum here. The EM-1 makes it easy setting up shot sequences in camera, so I tried 99 shots each time. First set was 10 seconds and the rest were 20 seconds exposure time, so I had between 6 shots per minute in the beginning and 3 shots per minute in the rest of the session.

Making nearly 375 pictures between 23:30 CET and 01:39 CET I found exactly ONE shooting star on my images … hmm, I should practice ;)

What I found a lot, were blinking airplane trails, as the location seemed to be on the flight path from Nürnberg to Prague – busy night.

Both pictures are JPG out of camera.
During the time the E-M1 did its job, I saw many more shooting stars in the eastern to south-eastern region of the sky – most of them at the end of my session. Unfortunately the camera was pointing to the north-east.

My conclusion: Had a nice time in the dark outside at 12 °C with a wonderful night sky. Next time I’ll try the 7-14mm lens to cover a larger portion of the sky … and hopefully capture some more of that beauties ;)

In case you’d like to comment, it’s appreciated … and maybe, you want to visit my website or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.

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