Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Love chasing Meteorites

  • Please log in to reply
145 replies to this topic

#26 17.5Dob

17.5Dob

    Voyager 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 10,267
  • Joined: 21 Mar 2013
  • Loc: Colorado,USA

Posted 11 May 2023 - 07:10 PM

I have nothing to comment on regarding the topic, but it's nice to see all of the old DPR bunch here at Cloudy Nights !


  • LeoUK likes this

#27 lee14

lee14

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,177
  • Joined: 19 Dec 2009
  • Loc: CNY

Posted 11 May 2023 - 08:01 PM

100% agree Lee. I read a paper last year (wish I could find it again) which suggested that the temperature involved was actually quite low - lower than previously thought. It makes sense when you consider that material is constantly being stripped from the meteoroid, removing heat in the process. Much like if you heat water, it will never go above 100 deg C (at sea level).

 

Apparently magnesium is implicated with the explosive nature of fragmentation events with Taurids at least, but I thought oxygen would have to be present. I probably need a refresher in chemistry!

The emission spectra typically show lines from metals, like magnesium, and of course iron. No evidence of oxides or products of combustion are seen. 

 

Lee


  • Oddyse likes this

#28 Oddyse

Oddyse

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 520
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2021

Posted 12 May 2023 - 04:57 PM

  Thanks Leo, Lee, JCK, everybody. Let me try some of the suggestions and get back to you here. I cant imagine having a wide enough FOV to hold on to a meteor for 15 seconds but going there first. All my best, Tennessee, USA



#29 Oddyse

Oddyse

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 520
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2021

Posted 13 May 2023 - 06:29 PM

..... I'll be working on everything. Clouds, thunderstorms, rain  and 100 percent humidity here now. And Leo sent us fog! Tennessee



#30 Oddyse

Oddyse

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 520
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2021

Posted 17 May 2023 - 07:22 AM

  Can't get out. Terrible scope weather for a week now. Tennessee

Attached Thumbnails

  • 0517230647_HDR~2.jpg


#31 LeoUK

LeoUK

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 176
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2022

Posted 18 May 2023 - 03:49 PM

You're very welcome. Hope that the weather breaks for you so you can try things out. It's starting to here, so could have some busy nights ahead.

 

That is a great view you have there, and very dark skies by the looks of it, at least shooting over the lake(?). I'm jealous! Your horizon is almost totally un-obstructed apart from the trees, which is near perfect for picking up distant fireballs. A well timed image/post, as I wanted to offer up one more bit of advice, or at least something to think about:

 

I'm sure it's not just me that has wondered where in the sky to aim for meteors, and after a couple of decades I think I've managed to come up with some basic guidelines which should help decide where about in the sky to aim for meteors.

 

Basically, if you aim high in the sky (above 45 degrees) you can catch meteors (mostly small) on a regular basis, but doing so limits how much atmosphere you are shooting through, so bright meteors and fireballs are relatively few and far between in terms of your probability of catching them. However, when you do catch one, they look great because you are closer to them as well as shooting through less atmosphere (less crud between your subject and lens).

 

Aiming low in the sky is the opposite: You cover MUCH more atmosphere so there is a better chance of catching large/bright events, however most will be in the distance/low down on the horizon. You can't catch small meteors much below 45 degrees in the sky since you are imaging through the thickest part of the atmosphere and atmospheric extinction dims all but the brightest of objects so that you can no longer see them.

 

These two diagrams illustrate what is going on. I've tried to represent how much atmosphere is covered when aiming, with the same camera+lens, either directly up (pink), or aiming at the horizon (green). There is a side view (bottom diagram) and a view from above (top diagram) as if from orbit. In the side view you can see Earth (light blue) and it's atmosphere above represented by darker blue, and the dark blue is outside Earth's atmosphere (above 100 km altitude). Note how the atmosphere is more of a "thin skin" covering rock - in reality it is probably even thinner than my diagram suggests.

 

In the view from above, the bright green dots represent a simulated meteor shower with a fairly even (one or two dots didn't get perfectly placed!) distribution of meteors. In nature of course the distribution is random, but an even distribution here should help emphasize the point I want to make: many more meteors fall within the green camera's FOV than fall within the red camera's FOV, but most will be a long way off (up to perhaps 7-800 km in extreme cases).

 

MeteorCameraAngle_tv.jpg

 

MeteorCameraAngle_sv.jpg

 

I like to do both. Bright meteors are rare when aiming up, so it's nice to aim at the horizon too and catch them in the distance (mostly) practically every night (although you can still catch little meteors when aiming up, but I'm more interested in the brighter events since interesting things start to happen with the brighter events). So there is one more thing for you to contemplate. When imaging meteors, virtually every aspect involves a delicate balance. In this case between time spend imaging and detail in the image captured. The solution is to add more cameras. I try to add at least one per year! Still quite costly, but buying used has helped me a lot.

 

Once again good luck (with the weather as much as anything else), and keep us updated.


Edited by LeoUK, 18 May 2023 - 03:54 PM.

  • EricTheCat likes this

#32 EricTheCat

EricTheCat

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,916
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern Minnesota

Posted 21 May 2023 - 12:28 AM

I love chasing meteors myself.

 

When conditions are decent I often run my camera over night even if at a time when there is no major meteor activity.

 

Right now my canon T8i is rolling with a 28mm f/1.4 lens capturing 5sec exposures at f/1.4 and ISO 3200.

 

Most nights I get 10 or so frames with meteors.  I have a fairly open sky and typically aim my camera to the East because that is generally the darkest part of the sky.

 

I hope to catch a really good fireball.  Eventually it should happen.


  • Maximumron and LeoUK like this

#33 Oddyse

Oddyse

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 520
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2021

Posted 21 May 2023 - 08:17 AM

  Thanks Leo, I totally agree with you in your demonstration on meteor location and their relative visibility. For sure the brighter meteors are found lower if the horizon is clear. They are all interesting though as you know, high or low I am often amazed at what I see the next day when I am reviewing my photos. I have several sweet spots here and they are usually higher locations. Almost every night I can catch 15 or 20 meteors coming across the Big Dipper or Cassiopeia. Any favorite constellations for meteors searches in the UK? The view is good here as you noted, Bortle 3 or better way out in the country and a big lake for a low horizon. The camera shot was north and northeast, and due east is pretty open too, behind me not so good with hills and tall trees. Only one camera so I will never be able to take shots like you can. We are supposed to have some clear skies this week after nearly 2 weeks of storms and showers, fog and haze. I will be taking meteor photos and post them here good or bad and hope to get more suggestions and feedback from you and see more of yours. All my best from Tennessee USA.


Edited by Oddyse, 21 May 2023 - 08:20 AM.

  • LeoUK likes this

#34 Oddyse

Oddyse

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 520
  • Joined: 20 Feb 2021

Posted 23 May 2023 - 07:37 AM

  No scope weather or taking pictures. Tennessee skies cloudy and hazy day and night for weeks now. Thanks to all posting and helping here. O

Attached Thumbnails

  • 0522231758~3.jpg

  • LeoUK likes this

#35 B. Hebert

B. Hebert

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 620
  • Joined: 03 Sep 2006
  • Loc: Southern California

Posted 30 May 2023 - 01:49 AM

Nice catches, but not meteorites, or meteors. It looks more like you've managed to image the train that a meteoroid leaves behind when it enters our atmosphere.

 

It's been a while since I imaged meteors with a DSLR/stills, but here's a crop of a 2021 Perseid meteor (70D + 24/1.4L - exposure was probably 15s @ f1.4).

attachicon.gifIMG_2528_c.jpg

 

As you say, meteors can be observed on any night (providing you can see at least some stars). Some of the best displays I've observed were due to meteor showers peaking, and sometimes you can catch a nice surprise like there was on the night of Nov 16-17 1998 which is what first got me interested in the subject.

 

But nowadays I try to set up cameras to try to record footage of brighter events (especially) whenever it's clear, and they probably catch an average of 1 or 2 fireballs (very bright meteors) every clear night, though most are a long way off/relatively small. It's almost the 1 year anniversary of my best catch so far. The icing on the cake was that I was stood next to the camera at the time, and saw the entire event unfold from start to fragmentation, as well as recording it! That was probably the 2nd best fireball I've ever observed, the "Midnight fireball" (not my footage) a few years back was probably the best, and was also observed by my wife who was with me me at the time.

 

I'd also encourage others to set up a camera or two when it's clear - it's estimated that ~100 tonnes of extra terrestrial material enters the atmosphere on an average night, much of it microscopic, but there are larger objects, and a bright fireball can be visible from at least 5 or 600 km away, so the odds are in your favor as long as you have reasonably good views of the sky.

Slightly changing the subject:

If someone were to capture a great meteor shot like this, how would you then stack the background image and still insert the meteor exposure?


  • LeoUK likes this

#36 LeoUK

LeoUK

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 176
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2022

Posted 09 July 2023 - 09:44 AM

I love chasing meteors myself.

 

When conditions are decent I often run my camera over night even if at a time when there is no major meteor activity.

 

Right now my canon T8i is rolling with a 28mm f/1.4 lens capturing 5sec exposures at f/1.4 and ISO 3200.

 

Most nights I get 10 or so frames with meteors.  I have a fairly open sky and typically aim my camera to the East because that is generally the darkest part of the sky.

 

I hope to catch a really good fireball.  Eventually it should happen.

 

Good luck. The more effort/time you put in, the sooner you'll be rewarded in my experience. I do find myself going through "baron periods" every so often. The last few months have simply been too cloudy to get much time imaging for example. But once the baron periods are over there is often a glut of fireballs.

 

Good choice of focal length by the way. 28mm is my current favorite FL for fireballs. It may miss a few (that is the balance you have to strike) but once you get one, you have a better chance of capturing some detail.

 

If you can, add another camera. My capture rate went right up once I did - last year my cameras (just a 28mm and a 20mm pointed towards the horizon - not counting camera #3 which was pointed up and did not catch many) must have caught 30-40 fireballs. Often a single camera will just miss events off to the side. It's certainly happened to me many times.

 

One thing to note, if you catch a meteor low in the sky (below 30 degrees perhaps), it's almost certainly a fireball or close, since dim meteors can't be observed low in the sky.
 


  • EricTheCat likes this

#37 LeoUK

LeoUK

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 176
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2022

Posted 09 July 2023 - 10:38 AM

  Thanks Leo, I totally agree with you in your demonstration on meteor location and their relative visibility. For sure the brighter meteors are found lower if the horizon is clear. They are all interesting though as you know, high or low I am often amazed at what I see the next day when I am reviewing my photos. I have several sweet spots here and they are usually higher locations. Almost every night I can catch 15 or 20 meteors coming across the Big Dipper or Cassiopeia. Any favorite constellations for meteors searches in the UK? The view is good here as you noted, Bortle 3 or better way out in the country and a big lake for a low horizon. The camera shot was north and northeast, and due east is pretty open too, behind me not so good with hills and tall trees. Only one camera so I will never be able to take shots like you can. We are supposed to have some clear skies this week after nearly 2 weeks of storms and showers, fog and haze. I will be taking meteor photos and post them here good or bad and hope to get more suggestions and feedback from you and see more of yours. All my best from Tennessee USA.

Sorry for neglecting this thread. I'm easily distracted!

 

From what I've noticed here (~53N) it seemed like brighter events/fireballs seem to occur more frequently towards the south of me, but where I'm living now I can't aim north (the house is in the way). Sporadic fireballs should be random though, so it's probably my own bias.

 

I think if you only have one or two cameras, the priority is just to aim where your best (least light polluted and clear of obstructions as much as possible) horizon is. That said, when there is a major meteor shower active, I would aim close-ish to the radiant if possible. Brighter shower members seem to occur closer to the radiant more often - between 20-30 degrees away is about right I think.

 

The Perseids are a great opportunity this year with the Moon out of the way. Good practice for the STRONG Perseid outburst that is expected in 2028, although that will be hindered by moonlight, but don't let that put you off, and try to get some practice imaging in moonlight in the mean time.

 

Hope you are getting more clear skies there than we are getting here in Derby, UK right now!



#38 LeoUK

LeoUK

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 176
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2022

Posted 09 July 2023 - 10:52 AM

Slightly changing the subject:

If someone were to capture a great meteor shot like this, how would you then stack the background image and still insert the meteor exposure?

Are you referring to this one I caught? Stacking frames from footage is pretty simple. That event results in a composite image like this (straightforward stack with no other editing):

FB230511_2248UT_stack_xxl.jpg

If you check the thread here, Jack has posted a more detailed technique to achieve good results if you scroll down to the most recent posts (you might have to click "flat view").


  • Penak likes this

#39 EricTheCat

EricTheCat

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,916
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern Minnesota

Posted 10 July 2023 - 10:04 AM

Good luck. The more effort/time you put in, the sooner you'll be rewarded in my experience. I do find myself going through "baron periods" every so often. The last few months have simply been too cloudy to get much time imaging for example. But once the baron periods are over there is often a glut of fireballs.

 

Good choice of focal length by the way. 28mm is my current favorite FL for fireballs. It may miss a few (that is the balance you have to strike) but once you get one, you have a better chance of capturing some detail.

 

If you can, add another camera. My capture rate went right up once I did - last year my cameras (just a 28mm and a 20mm pointed towards the horizon - not counting camera #3 which was pointed up and did not catch many) must have caught 30-40 fireballs. Often a single camera will just miss events off to the side. It's certainly happened to me many times.

 

One thing to note, if you catch a meteor low in the sky (below 30 degrees perhaps), it's almost certainly a fireball or close, since dim meteors can't be observed low in the sky.
 

Thanks for the info and the encouragement.

 

I may start running 2 cameras more often.  Especially since I recently acquired a 2nd T8i.  I have a 15mm f/2.8 that has worked well for brighter meteors.  I also have a 50mm f/1.2 but I hated how often meteors would be cut off so I mainly use that lens for sprites.

 

I have noticed that when a crescent moon is in view of my 28mm I get bad reflections.  I am a bit concerned if I catch a really bright meteor that I might end up with a reflection that detracts from the image.  I need to test on the moon some night and see if removing my UV filter helps with reflections.

 

 


  • LeoUK likes this

#40 LeoUK

LeoUK

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 176
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2022

Posted 10 July 2023 - 04:54 PM

Thanks for the info and the encouragement.

 

I may start running 2 cameras more often.  Especially since I recently acquired a 2nd T8i.  I have a 15mm f/2.8 that has worked well for brighter meteors.  I also have a 50mm f/1.2 but I hated how often meteors would be cut off so I mainly use that lens for sprites.

 

I have noticed that when a crescent moon is in view of my 28mm I get bad reflections.  I am a bit concerned if I catch a really bright meteor that I might end up with a reflection that detracts from the image.  I need to test on the moon some night and see if removing my UV filter helps with reflections.

You're very welcome Eric.

 

50mm is a little narrow a FOV if you are going for fireballs (great if you catch a complete event though!), but probably best used if you can point it towards a radiant you know is active, eg during the Perseids. Perseids close to the radiant will always be short, but should also be brighter than those seen well away from the radiant, I believe.

 

I ditched my Samyang 24/1.4 for meteors after catching this fragmenting fireball with it. Replaced it with the Sigma Art 28/1.4 which is much better wide open!

 

Filters will have a tendency to create reflections, especially with brighter events. I've always tried to avoid them.

PS. You mentioned sprites, which is something high on my list to try imaging if I get the chance. I don't have a nice 50mm, but I have a Laowa 35/0.95 that I think should work. What exposure/ISO do you use? I guess settings will be just like those for meteors.


  • EricTheCat likes this

#41 EricTheCat

EricTheCat

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,916
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern Minnesota

Posted 10 July 2023 - 07:52 PM

You're very welcome Eric.

 

50mm is a little narrow a FOV if you are going for fireballs (great if you catch a complete event though!), but probably best used if you can point it towards a radiant you know is active, eg during the Perseids. Perseids close to the radiant will always be short, but should also be brighter than those seen well away from the radiant, I believe.

 

I ditched my Samyang 24/1.4 for meteors after catching this fragmenting fireball with it. Replaced it with the Sigma Art 28/1.4 which is much better wide open!

 

Filters will have a tendency to create reflections, especially with brighter events. I've always tried to avoid them.

PS. You mentioned sprites, which is something high on my list to try imaging if I get the chance. I don't have a nice 50mm, but I have a Laowa 35/0.95 that I think should work. What exposure/ISO do you use? I guess settings will be just like those for meteors.

 

Yeah nothing bothers me more capturing meteors than when a very nice one is cut off.

 

That's an awesome fragmenting fireball you caught. 

 

I probably will go filterless instead of waiting for the moon to test for reflections.  Sooner or later the moon will show up and I can compare earlier frames to see.

For sprites, yes, very similar exposure to meteors.  I tend to push ISO a little harder for sprites.  I typically run the 50mm lens wide open (f/1.2) and ISO 6400 and exposure time is decided based on how bright the sky is which varies considerably in stormy conditions.  Usually a few seconds exposure.  Some of the best sprite detail I got was in video mode at 1/8 sec at ISO 6400.  My T8i duplicates frames when exposure is longer than frame duration so a shorter exposure might have made more sense there.  The opportunities to catch sprites from my location are very rare so I haven't had another opportunity to test.

 

It won't be long before the Perseids  become active.  Very much looking forward to it!


  • LeoUK likes this

#42 LeoUK

LeoUK

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 176
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2022

Posted 14 July 2023 - 03:44 PM

Yeah nothing bothers me more capturing meteors than when a very nice one is cut off.

It does happen. That one I couldn't have done much about anyway since it was headed behind the neighboring house!

 

One thing is for sure though. I missed more fireballs (some quite large) by not having at least two cameras running (and covering a significant chunk of horizon) when I could have done. Sometimes down to user error (forgetting to re-start recording), but also down to me being weary of setting up when rain-bearing cloud is around, which is frequently the case here in the UK.

 

Around May last year I added a second a7SII, and doubled down on my efforts to run cameras even if there was a risk of rain, and the cameras did get a little wet on more than a couple of occasions, but it really does pay if you can make the most of any available clear sky. Eventually I want to automate/weatherproof, at least some cameras, mainly for that reason.

 

 

That's an awesome fragmenting fireball you caught.

Thanks. I was surprised just how many fragmenting fireballs (and fireballs with bright flares/terminal/flashes) the cameras caught last year. Perhaps 3 or 4 where fragmentation was obvious in the footage, but many others did fragment and it was not easy (or possible) to see in the footage.

 

 

For sprites, yes, very similar exposure to meteors.  I tend to push ISO a little harder for sprites.  I typically run the 50mm lens wide open (f/1.2) and ISO 6400 and exposure time is decided based on how bright the sky is which varies considerably in stormy conditions.  Usually a few seconds exposure.  Some of the best sprite detail I got was in video mode at 1/8 sec at ISO 6400.  My T8i duplicates frames when exposure is longer than frame duration so a shorter exposure might have made more sense there.  The opportunities to catch sprites from my location are very rare so I haven't had another opportunity to test.

Thanks for the tips. I suppose it makes sense for me to try the a7SII and the standard settings I use for meteor footage (30 fps), but they usually give me rolling shutter effects when I've tried to capture normal lightning footage, so perhaps a better idea to use longer exposures.

 

It won't be long before the Perseids  become active.  Very much looking forward to it!

Last year once the Perseids got going, there was barely a breather till the end of the year. Hopefully this year will be more of the same. As the saying goes, don't get caught sleeping... or you'll miss things like this exploding alpha Capricornid one of the cameras caught in early August last year.

 

Alpha Capricornids don't usually get much of a mention, but they are a known fireball producing stream, and one paper I read last year (I'll post a link if I can find it again - it's probably somewhere in the news section here) suggested that it may share some similarities with the Taurids which are now suspected of being behind both the Tunguska and Chelyabinsk impacts.


  • EricTheCat likes this

#43 Oort Cloud

Oort Cloud

    Aurora

  • -----
  • Posts: 4,989
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2020
  • Loc: New Jersey, USA

Posted 14 July 2023 - 04:29 PM

As I was reading this, I got to this part

I checked the paper for a few days and no one reported a meteorite hit. Had one come right over me one night ! Could hear it sizzling like bacon and it left a vapor trail for miles.

and all I could think of, was "Oh my that must have been terrifying. Getting hit by a meteor would such a traumatic way to go." Then I read this

Astronomy is fun!

😂 It is as long as you don't get hit by a meteor! Stay safe out there!

Edited by Oort Cloud, 14 July 2023 - 04:30 PM.

  • LeoUK likes this

#44 Alen K

Alen K

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2,008
  • Joined: 25 Nov 2009

Posted 15 July 2023 - 09:34 AM

One thing is for sure though. I missed more fireballs (some quite large) by not having at least two cameras running (and covering a significant chunk of horizon) when I could have done. 

Only two cameras? Nah. You want one of these. Or one of these. Hey, why not both? (Says someone with only ONE camera.)


  • LeoUK likes this

#45 EricTheCat

EricTheCat

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,916
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern Minnesota

Posted 16 July 2023 - 02:14 PM

It does happen. That one I couldn't have done much about anyway since it was headed behind the neighboring house!

 

That's still a great capture. 

 


One thing is for sure though. I missed more fireballs (some quite large) by not having at least two cameras running (and covering a significant chunk of horizon) when I could have done. Sometimes down to user error (forgetting to re-start recording), but also down to me being weary of setting up when rain-bearing cloud is around, which is frequently the case here in the UK.

 

I will never forget the time I was setting up my camera in the evening.  Within seconds before I was ready to open a shutter a bright fireball went right were I was going to aim!

 

 


Last year once the Perseids got going, there was barely a breather till the end of the year. Hopefully this year will be more of the same. As the saying goes, don't get caught sleeping... or you'll miss things like this exploding alpha Capricornid one of the cameras caught in early August last year.

 

Alpha Capricornids don't usually get much of a mention, but they are a known fireball producing stream, and one paper I read last year (I'll post a link if I can find it again - it's probably somewhere in the news section here) suggested that it may share some similarities with the Taurids which are now suspected of being behind both the Tunguska and Chelyabinsk impacts.

 

Great point.  From what I read Capricornids are active right now. 

 

I am planning to set up tonight.  Hopefully the smoke clears as the forecast predicts.  I may even run 2 cameras.  My 2nd T8i is off to be modified but I also have a T4i that I may as well put to use.

 

I might also set up one of my security cameras.  Occasionally I will set them up for meteors as well.  I captured a nice fireball with one 12/9/2018 here: https://www.youtube....nnel=EricTheCat  (Note: that one could use some re-processing).  I have another camera of the same type that I changed the settings on to always be in daylight mode to prevent the IR from making insects visible.  The one I captured that fireball with I taped foam around the IR LEDs so it wouldn't pick up insects or seeds and stuff flying in the wind.

 

On the DSLR topic, I have been going through and re-processing some of my prior captures using PixInsight and NoiseXterminator.  A nice thing about PixInsight is you can take the history from a image and apply it to numerous images in a batch process using image containers.  I find that very useful to process all images from a single night. 

 

This is one of my better captures from last year during the Orionid meteor shower.  This is from my yard and is the typical framing I use with my 28mm.  The weird way the stars look was due to fog that night:

Meteor-2022-10-20-IMG_5422-P2S.jpg

 

This is my favorite meteor pic so far.  It is from my 2018 Perseid meteor shower trip on the North shore of Lake Superior.  (Edited to add, this was with my Canon T4i and 15mm lens)  I re-processed it a little while back but I really should re-visit it again.  Unfortunately I was shooting only in .JPG to preserve space (which was necessary).  No longer an issue now with my 512 GB and 1TB cards I can shoot raw all night long. 

Meteor-2018-08-13-IMG_1549-P2S.jpg


Edited by EricTheCat, 16 July 2023 - 02:15 PM.

  • Foc, Maximumron and LeoUK like this

#46 LeoUK

LeoUK

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 176
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2022

Posted 16 July 2023 - 03:58 PM

Only two cameras? Nah. You want one of these. Or one of these. Hey, why not both? (Says someone with only ONE camera.)

Have to admit I was envious of the DMS T70 arrays around the early naughties. I found an image of their larger array, which is what I really liked the look of back then. I did attempt to replicate their system (on a smaller scale) using the Canon Command Back to control multiple T70 35mm cameras, but only got up to two cameras before I decided it was time to go digital!

 

But the point I was trying to make was that two cameras + time is a powerful combination - much much better than a single camera at catching brighter events.

 

Of course, the more cameras, the better! I am currently running 3x a7sII (one points up) where I am living now, and would run more, but at the back of the house we are surrounded by trees, and the front of the house is pavement/street.

 

I did recently purchase a 4th a7sII for "grab and run" impact predictions where we usually only get a few hours notice, so not having to dismantle the existing cameras (which I leave part set up) saves valuable time, and when we do eventually move (hoping by the end of the year) I do have a ragtag array of DSLRs (1DXII x1, 1DsII x4, 70D x3, and 5D x2 - 10 cameras in total) for stills, so I could run around 14 cameras in theory, but probably won't due to the logistics.

 

Instead I hope to have at least 4 cameras (preferably 9-10) automated cameras, one day. Also like the idea posted by nathanm here!



#47 EricTheCat

EricTheCat

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,916
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern Minnesota

Posted 17 July 2023 - 08:06 PM

Seems like meteor rates are increasing.  Managed to capture 24 frames with meteors using my 28mm lens overnight.  It works out to be a meteor about every 15.6 minutes. 

 

I started a spreadsheet for tracking and calculating rates.  A bit silly considering I already run a radio meteor detection system.  However, I like the idea of having real stats about how much I am able to pick up with the camera.

 

MeteorRateTrackingSpreadsheet.png

 

A bit more data entry to do when time allows.

 

Clear skies,

Eric

 


  • Maximumron and LeoUK like this

#48 LeoUK

LeoUK

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 176
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2022

Posted 18 July 2023 - 06:57 PM

That's still a great capture. 

 

I will never forget the time I was setting up my camera in the evening.  Within seconds before I was ready to open a shutter a bright fireball went right were I was going to aim!

Thanks.

 

I have lost count of the "dohs". One that does stick in my mind was a night around Perseid max, perhaps around 2005. It was starting to get light after a night trying to image meteors from my suburban back garden, so I had already started to pack away everything, although I might have been able to carry on a bit longer. As I bent down to grab something, the garden lit up like it was daylight. So I looked up, and it looked like the "dark" sky had a tear in, pointing back to the Perseid radiant, through which was flooding bright white sunlight. The persistent train lingered for at least another 5-10 minutes before being lost in the brightening sky. To this day it remains one of the brightest cometary fireballs that I almost saw!

 

Great point.  From what I read Capricornids are active right now. 

 

I am planning to set up tonight.  Hopefully the smoke clears as the forecast predicts.  I may even run 2 cameras.  My 2nd T8i is off to be modified but I also have a T4i that I may as well put to use.

 

I might also set up one of my security cameras.  Occasionally I will set them up for meteors as well.  I captured a nice fireball with one 12/9/2018 here: https://www.youtube....nnel=EricTheCat  (Note: that one could use some re-processing).  I have another camera of the same type that I changed the settings on to always be in daylight mode to prevent the IR from making insects visible.  The one I captured that fireball with I taped foam around the IR LEDs so it wouldn't pick up insects or seeds and stuff flying in the wind.

I also had a promising forecast so had to head off and set up cameras. It turned out to be a quiet night that clouded up before 01:00 local time, but aside from that, there have been hints that activity is starting to pick up recently. The cameras have been catching faster meteors again, though mostly relatively dim.

 

Nice catch with the cctv camera. I nearly went with cctv cameras, but then Sony started coming out with sensitive/high-rez colour cameras, and it made more sense for me to go for them!

 

 

On the DSLR topic, I have been going through and re-processing some of my prior captures using PixInsight and NoiseXterminator.  A nice thing about PixInsight is you can take the history from a image and apply it to numerous images in a batch process using image containers.  I find that very useful to process all images from a single night.

I must admit I've not used PI yet. I use Capture One Pro to make initial adjustments which can easily be applied to all images, and Photoshop CS2 for fine tuning single images, but it can also be applied to many. I guess PI is more astro oriented so can do things that CS2/C1P can't?

 

This is one of my better captures from last year during the Orionid meteor shower.  This is from my yard and is the typical framing I use with my 28mm.  The weird way the stars look was due to fog that night:

attachicon.gif Meteor-2022-10-20-IMG_5422-P2S.jpg

 

This is my favorite meteor pic so far.  It is from my 2018 Perseid meteor shower trip on the North shore of Lake Superior.  (Edited to add, this was with my Canon T4i and 15mm lens)  I re-processed it a little while back but I really should re-visit it again.  Unfortunately I was shooting only in .JPG to preserve space (which was necessary).  No longer an issue now with my 512 GB and 1TB cards I can shoot raw all night long. 

attachicon.gif Meteor-2018-08-13-IMG_1549-P2S.jpg

Nice catches! I've always wanted to catch a meteor reflected in water, but never really got the chance to image around water much. I can sympathize with the fog. It's a problem here too. We're looking to move soon, and with any luck we'll find somewhere a little higher up, with good views, and a bit less prone to fog.
 

As you say, affordable high capacity have been a god send. Being able to image for a whole night with just a single card makes life much easier, especially if you have more than one camera to think about.
 


  • EricTheCat likes this

#49 LeoUK

LeoUK

    Vostok 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 176
  • Joined: 19 Nov 2022

Posted 18 July 2023 - 07:02 PM

Seems like meteor rates are increasing.  Managed to capture 24 frames with meteors using my 28mm lens overnight.  It works out to be a meteor about every 15.6 minutes. 

 

I started a spreadsheet for tracking and calculating rates.  A bit silly considering I already run a radio meteor detection system.  However, I like the idea of having real stats about how much I am able to pick up with the camera.

 

attachicon.gif MeteorRateTrackingSpreadsheet.png

 

A bit more data entry to do when time allows.

 

Clear skies,

Eric

 

Thanks for sharing your data. Definitely not silly comparing various forms of observation!

 

I also have the impression that rates have started going up. Certainly the UK meteor monitoring network has only just started catching fireballs again after a long lull for many months, although that must at least be partly due to how little clear sky there has been up till recently this year.

 

I have not gone to the trouble of counting every meteor in footage for a while now, but when I started capturing footage on a regular basis (around May 2021) I was only running a single camera (pointed near zenith) so it was feasible (just about) to replay the footage and record/count all meteors. If I recall, with 24 or 28mm lenses @ f1.4 the a7sII averaged around 12-14 meteors per hour around April/May on nights free of major/minor shower peaks (Bortle class 6 here). One of the reasons I've been recording footage (rather than ling exposures with a DSLR) at my current location is because the shorter exposures cope better with light pollution without compromising sensitivity(improving on it if anything!).


  • EricTheCat likes this

#50 EricTheCat

EricTheCat

    Surveyor 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 1,916
  • Joined: 31 Jul 2011
  • Loc: Southern Minnesota

Posted 19 July 2023 - 06:27 PM

Thanks.

 

I have lost count of the "dohs". One that does stick in my mind was a night around Perseid max, perhaps around 2005. It was starting to get light after a night trying to image meteors from my suburban back garden, so I had already started to pack away everything, although I might have been able to carry on a bit longer. As I bent down to grab something, the garden lit up like it was daylight. So I looked up, and it looked like the "dark" sky had a tear in, pointing back to the Perseid radiant, through which was flooding bright white sunlight. The persistent train lingered for at least another 5-10 minutes before being lost in the brightening sky. To this day it remains one of the brightest cometary fireballs that I almost saw!

 

I also had a promising forecast so had to head off and set up cameras. It turned out to be a quiet night that clouded up before 01:00 local time, but aside from that, there have been hints that activity is starting to pick up recently. The cameras have been catching faster meteors again, though mostly relatively dim.

 

Nice catch with the cctv camera. I nearly went with cctv cameras, but then Sony started coming out with sensitive/high-rez colour cameras, and it made more sense for me to go for them!

 

 

I must admit I've not used PI yet. I use Capture One Pro to make initial adjustments which can easily be applied to all images, and Photoshop CS2 for fine tuning single images, but it can also be applied to many. I guess PI is more astro oriented so can do things that CS2/C1P can't?

 

Nice catches! I've always wanted to catch a meteor reflected in water, but never really got the chance to image around water much. I can sympathize with the fog. It's a problem here too. We're looking to move soon, and with any luck we'll find somewhere a little higher up, with good views, and a bit less prone to fog.
 

As you say, affordable high capacity have been a god send. Being able to image for a whole night with just a single card makes life much easier, especially if you have more than one camera to think about.
 

Thanks!

 

What is your process like when you capture video?  Do you just capture a long video and go through it faster or something like that?  Since I mostly capture images I typically just cycle through them with xviewer (default photo viewing app in CentOS).  It takes me about 1/2 second per image until I stop on one with a meteor and note the frame number.

 

As far as PI vs. Photoshop, I might not be the best to answer your question.  I suspect there are a fair amount of things one can do that the other can't and that goes both ways with some overlap.  Though I can't say I've used any form of photoshop for many years and I also can't say I am familiar with everything PI does as it has a huge number of processes and scripts even at the default level without any add-ins.  PI has a huge learning curve.  It took me months to start feeling comfortable with it and I still occasionally come upon a very useful feature that I wish I knew about long before. 

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing your data. Definitely not silly comparing various forms of observation!

 

I also have the impression that rates have started going up. Certainly the UK meteor monitoring network has only just started catching fireballs again after a long lull for many months, although that must at least be partly due to how little clear sky there has been up till recently this year.

 

I have not gone to the trouble of counting every meteor in footage for a while now, but when I started capturing footage on a regular basis (around May 2021) I was only running a single camera (pointed near zenith) so it was feasible (just about) to replay the footage and record/count all meteors. If I recall, with 24 or 28mm lenses @ f1.4 the a7sII averaged around 12-14 meteors per hour around April/May on nights free of major/minor shower peaks (Bortle class 6 here). One of the reasons I've been recording footage (rather than ling exposures with a DSLR) at my current location is because the shorter exposures cope better with light pollution without compromising sensitivity(improving on it if anything!).

Now that I've spent some time looking at my captures from 2 nights ago I got a really nice indication that things are picking up.  That is at least 4 of them I suspect are Perseids.

 

These are 3 of the suspected Perseids.  I'm skipping the best one as it was mostly off frame, of course! wink.gif

 

Meteor-2023-07-16-IMG_6575SS.jpg

 

Meteor-2023-07-16-IMG_6898SS.jpg

 

Meteor-2023-07-16-IMG_7026SS.jpg


Edited by EricTheCat, 19 July 2023 - 06:29 PM.

  • LeoUK likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics