Posts tagged ‘meteor’

March 27, 2016

Milky Way by Night

Somewhere, Something incredible is waiting to be known. – Carl Sagan

As Spring comes up, so does the galactic arm of the milky way. Due to the curvature and constant movement of the earth, the Milky Way is below the horizon during the months of November to February, and can be enjoyed with the galactic center from March to October (if you live in the northern hemisphere).

This shot is from the one of the most known Perseids meteor shower from the past year. We drove around the Green river state wildlife area and luckily chanced upon a remote road. As I light painted the foreground with Coast HP7,  the meteor sparkled across the night sky. One of the stars even decided to play the head of the comet.

Looking forward to more adventurous nights this year :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

 Perseids (08.13.2015) @ Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
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November 4, 2015

It all comes down to …

Contemplating life under stars, at Wisconsin river.

Watching the stars make you realize, how small you are. But at the same time the openness of the clear skies reminds, that you are nothing but the universe itself. The water drop is not outside the ocean, but the ocean itself. At the same time the ocean would not be there with out the water drops.

It all comes down to you :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print  Perseids Meteor (08.15.2015)
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
August 17, 2015

Stroll by the River @ 2 AM

The Perseid meteor shower, is associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle and appears to streak out of Perseus constellation. Perseids usually is visible around 2nd week of Aug. With little or no moon to ruin the show, this was a great year for watching the Perseid meteor shower.

Every time the comet dives in towards the sun, it leaves a trail of rocky icy bits along its path like a cosmic, frozen Hansel and Gretel trail. This trail can remain intact for decades after the fact and gets refreshed with each new pass (the last of which was in 1992 and the next one is 2126). As the Earth barrels through the debris field, all the little bits in it’s way burn up in the atmosphere, creating brilliant streaks across the sky. Even particles the size of the sand can create some lovely views like this.

 

2 AM in the Morning, Watching the milky-way, Sipping a cup of hot tea – is an experience unto itself. Add a shooting star and what more can u ask for :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print    Perseids Meteor (08.15.2015)
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
July 27, 2015

The Celestial Alignment

When life knocks you down, just roll over and enjoy the stars :)

This shot is from a few years back, when I was out at Trillium Lake to enjoy the Perseids Meteor Shower. Being my first night-out shooting, I consider myself lucky to have captured the Perseids. It really did not start out that way. The first half of the night was more of hide and seek, as the meteors were adorning the skies, especially where the camera was not pointed at. I was much worried that the possibilities would only go down, as the moon was coming up.

As the night was wading, the moon was coming up the horizon. But only after I decided to stop chasing the Perseids, did I notice that the moon brought in Venues and Jupiter along, in a lovely celestial alignment. As I zoomed in to capture the night sky along with the Moon, Venue & Jupiter – a Perseids – decided to join the show too. I couldn’t be more glad, when all things came in alignment :)

Perseids Meteor Shower is one of the more consistent meteor showers in the northern sky. Its coming up in a few weeks (Aug 12-14, 2015) and the waxing crescent (3%) would not be hindering the same. Have you planned where you would be enjoying the show from for 2015 ?!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1600 : 19 mm : f5.6 : 15.0 sec

   Trillium Lake
Mt. Hood, Oregon, USA
March 29, 2015

Falling Star … Falling Star …!!!

This was from the night, few moons ago, when I was shooting the camelopardalis meteor shower. Clear nights are nice to shoot the milky way. But a little bit if mist, actuates and gives a good nice glow to the stars. I love the Green River Wildlife Area for the night sky watching. It provides ample dirt roads and parking spots where you could set up base ! For this shot I set up the camera and decided to drive around and the set the car, so the head lights could light up the trees :)

It is fun to shoot the milky way. It is even more enjoyable when my family joins in the party. My son (8 yrs) is equally intrigued by the night sky. Along with the shot, just wanted to share something he wrote during one of our trips to catch a glimpse of a meteor shower.

Falling star Falling Star
Sliding down the Sky
I will catch You when I fly.

Falling star Falling Star
You have a Shiny light,
Which makes you very Bright
You go swiftly
– My Dad takes snaps of U quickly.

Falling Star Falling Star
We see U barely,
So come out early
We see U in dark starlit midnight
Hoping to see U tonight. – Pranav :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-24 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Camelopardalis Meteor, Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
October 16, 2014

Draconid over Cave Point

After a long planning decided to head to Door County for capturing the palette of fall colors. As I was scouting the locations online, read about Cave Point to be a prominent spot. Being close to the the place where we stayed, decided to head there first thing in the evening to capture some stars. Reaching the spot after sunset did not help navigating in the dark. With the moon scheduled to come up, did not have much time either.

The water, aided by the wind was crashing against the cliffs and caves. This bellowing of waves helped traverse to the edge of the cliff. But by the time my eyes got used to the darkness, the moon decided to come out. It indeed was a lovely moon rise across the Michigan lake. But the best was yet to come …

I decided to use the moon light to capture the rugged cliff from below. The cool breeze, the sounds of the water crashing against the walls, the night sky … and just as I was exposing for the same, this lively meteor decided to adorn the sky. It took around 12 – 15 seconds to span across the sky before burning off.

Given the waxing gibbous moon, I was not even expecting a meteor sighting. I could only imagine how bright it would have been, if not for the moon :) With my wife and kid atop the cliff (look keen), this definitely was a treasure of a moment captured !

Once I came back from the trip. looked up online and identified this as Draconids based on the date and direction. The Draconids owe their name to the constellation Draco the Dragon, and are created when the Earth passes through the dust debris left by comet 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinner.

Canon 7D : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 18 mm : f8.0 : 1/90 sec 

Buy Print   Draconid Meteor (10.11.2014) @ Cave Point County Park
Door County, Wisconsin, USA
May 24, 2014

209P/LINEAR’s handshake with earth – Camelopardalis

As you would have read from the news, the new meteor shower – Camelopardalis – was expected to adorn the skies during the early morning of 5.24.2014. When I heard about this meteor shower, I was pretty excited. Time of the event being a weekend – check. Location – northern continental US – favorable. Clear skies – check. May be the stars just aligned for this :)

Camelopardalis – I was wondering about the name, as it has been as long as the giraffe’s neck, when I came across this !

The giraffe’s species name, camelopardalis (camelopard), is derived from its early Roman name where it was thought of as a composite creature, described as having characteristics of both a camel and a leopard.

 

The forecasted peak time for the meteor shower was from 1 –3 AM CST. It was not as much as hyped (~200 / hr ?), but the night was still clear and Milky way was magnificent. Around 4 AM, took out my flash light and started playing to get a star war style crisscross with the milky way. Just then the celestial gods decided to bless – look – a shooting start in the same direction my camera was positioned, as if to slice the Milky way.This was not one of the shooting star i saw in person. I was busy walking up & down and playing with the flash light. But I will definitely settle for this shot instead :)

Lesson to self : Never given up, just go out and do what you like, you never know when the stars will align :)

Note: Are you just getting started with night photography ? Do check out this article !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print Camelopardalis Meteor (05.24.2014) Green River Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
May 21, 2014

Majestic Milky way @ Bond Falls

This is a single RAW shot processed for the milky way. The ambient light bought in the details of the falls and bit of reflections.  Shot this while chasing the Perseids last year. I liked this shot for how this brings out the grandeur of the milky way. At the same time, it is amazing how walking couple of steps and lighting the foreground can bring in such a different feel. Here is the shot with a bit of light painting on the foreground.

It is amazing how much camera’s can see these days, but still – far superior is what the eyes can see :)

darkness of the night
stillness of the forest
rumbling of the falls
twinkling of the stars
grandeur of the milky way 
– adorned by a shooting star !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print   Perseids & Milky Way Over Bond Falls
Trout Creek, Michigan, USA
August 12, 2013

Chasing the Perseids

Sleeping under the stars is an experience unto itself. Add a streak of shooting star and it becomes magical.

Perseids meteor shower is one of the consistent ones. Capturing it west coast last year was fun and exhilarating. Equipped with the past experience and learning had been scouting locations and planning for it this year. Unfortunately the weather was not playing along over this particular weekend. Almost all of Illinois was forecasted for gloomy weather and thunderstorms.

As I was debating, there was a forecast for Aurora sighting over this past (same) weekend with a level of 5. Both these together made it too tempting to drop the plan. I decided to take my chances with the weather. After lot of deliberation decided to drive up north to for 8 hours. The plan was to get out during the daylight and scout the location as much as possible. Thought it would make it easier to maneuver again during the night, but boy oh boy, could I be any more wrong !!! The pitch black unknown trails were kind of eerie. But once the stars came out it was a totally different world – so serene and tranquil.

 

I am beginning to love the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night :)

45 hours on the road with just few hours of sleep, in search of that one spot to capture the Perseids. The lashing rain, the forecasted aurora that never turned up and the hide and seek with the clouds – it was all fun. Was it all worth it, you bet ! The road trip took me to one of the darkest skies of Mid Western US – Bond Falls. Would like to share with you a moment in time from that night. This was one of the two meteor I was able to capture on frame, but loved how everything came together in this shot. I do love when a plan comes together :)

 

The deafening sound of 500 gallons of water / second from 50 feet
The tranquil silence of the dark night
Milky way adorning the skies
A (Perseids) meteor fireball streaking across the horizon
Definitely a moment of serenity and one I would cherish !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 3200 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec [Foreground lit by Coast HP7]

Buy Print   Perseids & Milky Way Over Bond Falls
Trout Creek, Michigan, USA
June 12, 2013

Delphinids – That elusive Meteor Shower

I went to shoot the Deliphids and all I got was this :)

Coming in from office stumbled upon the article – that talked the the elusive Delphinids Meteors. When NASA said it was elusive, I should have agreed. Instead I decide to drive up 2 hours, to sleep under the stars. I just awaited a bit too long for the peak of the meteor (forecasted around 3:30 – 4:30 AM) and missed to realize that the sun would start to lit up the horizon quiet early during summer… The meteors were indeed quiet elusive. Given this was mid of work week, it was a good straight 36 hours without sleep, but was well worth the experience !

Just in case you were wondering, this was just a regular star trail shot processed with Comet effect. Am working on an article explaining the same. For now do check out – Getting Started with Starscapes here.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 1000 : 10 mm : f22 : 30 sec


    Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
May 13, 2013

The Road to Milky Way

Living close to Chicago has its perks, but star-gazing is definitely not one of them. With so much of ambient light pollution, it is difficult to see any stars. Tools of trade – Dark Sky Finder – came to the rescue, in locating some decent dark skies @ Green River State Wildlife Area. The 2 hour drive made me realize how much impact light pollution has on the night skies. Anyways, couple nights back – everything fell in place – new moon, weekend, forecast for clear skies and not so cold nights – all came together. Clear Sky Chart is one other site that is quiet handy to plan trips like these …

Out at this location, the side roads, provide for some interesting composition – without being bothered by light trails of the vehicles. There are not many crazy folks who drive around at that hour ;-) It was an happy accident to have captured a meteor on this particular night. This probably was from Eta Meteor shower that peaked couple of days back.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 12 mm : f4 : 30 sec


Buy Print   Eta Meteor (05.11.2013) @ Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
December 13, 2012

Stonehenge – right here at Oregon

I came across Maryhill in Washington, when I was trying to finalize (light pollution free) places to shoot Geminids meteor shower. This park has a full-size, astronomically-aligned replica of Stonehenge and was commissioned by Samuel Hill and dedicated on July 4, 1918 as a memorial to those that died in World War I. The memorial was completed in 1929.

The peak of Geminids is actually tonight (Dec 13, 2013), but given the overcast weather here at the northwest, it is not very promising. Hence, when there was a break in the weather yesterday, decided to take my chances. It was a nice experience, braving the December cold and watching the meteor shower in person. I was able to witness close to ~5 in a span of 15 minutes, as I was scouting / setting up at the location. But subsequently the skies were clear only for a few minutes – here and there. So much for the forecast and almost clear skies. It was not a great night for capturing the meteors, but given the new moon and having the entire place to play with some lighting, it turned out to a pretty good night for some star photography.

I used a small headlamp to light up the inside of the Stonehenge. The light from a near by settlement was reflecting on the clouds creating the yellow. The (once distracting series of) tower lights, harmonized with the fog resulting in the lovely red hue over the horizon. Incidentally, the passing by Union Pacific train decided to play along and lit up the outside of the Stonehenge. Wish there had been a meteor on this particular shot, oh well … I just love it when a plan comes together, or not :)

Camera : Canon 7D 
Lens : Canon 10-22 mm
Filter : None
ISO 3200 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec


Buy Print   Milky way @ Stonehenge
MaryHill, Washington, USA
August 13, 2012

Shooting Star(s) & the Moon, Venus, Jupiter etc.

Sleeping under the stars is an experience unto itself. In addition, being away from the city lights takes on a whole new level of fun, when you start taking star pictures. If u have not done it before, definitely give it a try :) In expectations of capturing a moment of Presides Meteor shower, headed to Trillium lake over last weekend (Aug 11-12, 2012) . Overall the meteor shower was pretty elusive than expected, always managing to put a show where the camera was not pointed. As the night was passing by, was worried that the moon rise (around 1:30 AM) might reduce the possibility of meteor sighting. But I was pretty surprised when everything just lined up just (around 3:30 AM) – the Venus, the Moon and the Jupiter – and even a meteor was adorning the scene. The star cluster you see a little off center on top is Pleiades nebula.

Hope u enjoy viewing as much as I did during the shooting !

Buy Print  Perseids Meteor
Trillium Lake, Mt. Hood, Oregon, USA
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