This is a combined report on three sorties during the period of the activity of the Perseids meteor shower in 2016. The purpose of the trip was precisely the shooting of Perseids and the catch was given to the rich. Never before and until now, never after me I could not observe and take away so many meteors. The first shooting took place in the Carpathian Mountains, where it was possible to catch a good dark sky.
I will not describe how we and my friend arrived here and how long it took for the time, but by the sunset they had already settled on the top, set up a tent and began to slowly wait for darkness. The sites were amazed by its beauty and peace of mind:
On a moonless night under a dark mountain sky, searching a song blindly is a bad job. Therefore, before nightfall, I looked around and understood where it would be necessary to go at night:
Twilight has come. And while the moon has time to go beyond the horizon, you can make tea on the primus, admire the beauties, escort the eyes of the ISS🙂
After the lunar sunset, I worked on the plot with southern constellations and haystacks.
Sagittarius, the center of the Milky Way and Scorpio with bright Saturn and Mars looked just great!
But here with the earthly part of the frame something has namudil. The result was very blurry, dark and noisy. Even the addition did not help. Well, okay, what are the rich and happy. Go ahead.
The sky itself in this area turned out to be surprisingly dark, and even according to visual sensations it gave the highest-quality picture of all that I had a chance to see at that time. The veins of dark nebulae on the background of the Milky Way and, of course, endless placers of the dimmest stars were easily distinguished by sight!
I suspect that the whole thing is in the relatively low population and inaccessibility of this part of the Carpathians, although it is directly only 50 kilometers from the large regional center. The lack of roads and the entire infrastructure is doing its own thing, in our case, a very good thing : )
Close to midnight, Perseids are already flashing overhead. The amount was about a meteor every 5-10 minutes. I remembered the brightest car in the constellation Bootes, from which shadows walked on the earth : ) The meteors did not want to get into the camera’s field of view for a long time. I relaxed and just, while there was time, photographed beauty around:
Fatigue was taking its toll and it was necessary to take a nap. There was still a goal before the onset of morning twilight to have time to photograph the ascending Orion. After a long summer absence in the sky, this winter constellation finally appeared again in the sky. Therefore, it was important not to oversleep. Set the alarm clock, spread a rug near the tent right on the grass and passed out in the open…
An hour and a half later I open my eyes, and I see familiar outlines in the east. Taurus had already risen high in the sky, Gemini with bright Castor and Pollux had sprawled right above the glow, and just to their right appeared a sky hunter, whose “right foot” (the star Saiph) still had not managed to ascend. Feels like seeing old good friends!
It is so unusual, joyful and pleasant to see the winter picture of the sky causing an ice shiver to be warm, shrouded in fragrant herbs, summer morning. At this moment, still not physically, but we already understand the mood: the summer has passed.
Having muffled all the dreary autumn thoughts, a sultry August day rushed in quickly:
Hordes of insects chattered, wildflowers bloomed and only the distant sounds of the lawn mower somewhere below broke the absolute Carpathian serenity, recalling a small village a couple of kilometers away.
We did not hurry anywhere. They fell in the shade under a century-old tree, slept off, ate local apples, walked around.
One very bright perseid managed to catch. Which is characteristic in the constellation Ursa Major. I noticed that the longest and brightest meteors often appear precisely in this region of the sky:
Pleased with the result, I give the command to assemble and we start our many kilometers long night transition to the highway, where at dawn we will be picked up by the first bus.
Having gained strength at home, I had already packed my things and was preparing for an extravaganza: around two, by midnight, a new day was promised a peak with an zenith number exceeding 150 meteors per hour! For the weather, this time I had to go exactly to the same place where I had been shooting a Total Lunar Eclipse the year before.
Arrived on the scene with adventure and late. The fellow travelers helped, who at the last moment threw them to the lake. Once on the shore, I chose a beach with boats, installed two cameras, set them up, turned on the work, and he climbed into a sleeping bag and tried to get some rest, while watching meteors:
True, I did not do very well.
Despite the fact that the spectacle was awesome and the Perseids really thrashed at the peak of two pieces per minute, I could barely restrain my sleepy impulses – fatigue from the road and the frantic pace of the previous days made themselves felt.
It took two hours and the result of wide-angle shooting at the peak was a composite of all those caught in the frame with the landscape of meteors.
Toward the morning, even according to subjective sensations, it became noticeable that the activity of the stream began to decline, although it was still possible to catch more than one meteor into the frame before dawn.
I was already determined to finally go home to sleep without hind legs, but on the way I noticed beautiful fields with straw bales from the window – a great picture for night landscapes. But this meant that it was impossible to wait and need today, again, to spend the night in the field. He very much doubted whether it was worth going back there in the evening, but the intensity of the Perseids is still large enough to miss this opportunity.
In general, at sunset I was already on location in anticipation of another fruitful night : D
I am waiting for the radiant to rise a little higher – this time I want the constellation Perseus and his circle to be in the frame. As a result, it should be seen how the flow diverges in different directions. And during this time I manage to catch several meteors in the southern side of the sky, where they fall visually almost parallel to each other.
Already after midnight, closer to the morning, the winter constellations rose quite high and I began to create the main image. Self-portrait for shooting:
While standing there, on top of a hill, trying not to move, I noticed that I was already breathing steam. Looking to the east, where the red crowned Aldebaran Hyades rose, this time I felt that the summer was leaving us already physically. Later, in the morning, when I looked at the weather reports, I learned that then it was only + 6C °. Here they are the first morning frost.
I have been collecting material for more than an hour by serially shooting the same area. There were many meteors, but they all turned out to be rather dull. I really want a bright car, but it is already beginning to get light and I, without ceasing to peer intently at the sky, to the last hope that I’m lucky.
And here, at half past four in the morning, after an hour and a half shooting, the brightest Perseid explodes right in the frame! It seemed that at that moment I even heard a clap, but this, of course, is an illusion caused by the sudden appearance of a meteor.
My joy was simple there was no limit! Having performed the ritual dance of happiness around the tripod and, realizing that the work was done, he began to slowly gather. I was damn tired these days and wanted only one thing – sleep normally : D