Evening/morning April 19/20th 2011. Meteor watch. Lyrids are a strong meteor shower appearing April 16-26th. Radiant is located bottom right corner of this image. Whilst catching a meteor at 2223hrs (centre of image) it was not a Lyrid. To increase my chances of seeing a meteor spotting (apart from sitting out on watch with finger on the camera trigger) I use this method. Leave camera on tripod with reasonable wide angle of view (12mm in this image) and pointing towards the area of potential meteor activity. Set camera to shoot continuous (remote cable on lock) and exposure times to 15s, wide shutter (F2.8) and leave the camera out all night. I set this shoot starting at 2100hrs and picked it up in morning. Batteries ran out at 0400hrs, which gave me a good 7hrs of footage. Then I imported the 1600 images into PC and stacked using startrails software. The resulting image not only provides a nice startrail, showing the effect of Earths rotation, but may just bag you a meteor or two. Tonight I was lucky and caught one :-) In hindsight I should have perhaps nudged the camera a tad further east and south, thus allowing the Lyra constellation to rotate from bottom left to top right. Btw the orange milky streaks are wispy clouds rolling through the sky.
Gear - Olympus E5, 12-60mm SWD lens, tripod, cable release & home made dew shield.
Star trailstarsmeteorLyridsnight skyplanetsastronomypolarisOlympusE5Mark Humpage