Thursday, August 13, 2009

The camera didn't catch any Perseids, but it did pick up the flowers in the dark nicely

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

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