One amazing perk that comes with being a NASA astronaut is that you can watch meteor showers up close and from above. Astronaut Ron Garan captured this awesome photograph from the International Space Station of a Perseid meteor burning up in our atmosphere.
By the way, did you notice the hot pixels littering the frame? That’s probably why NASA sometimes only uses DSLRs once before too many pixels are destroyed by space radiation.
Last week we featured a stunning time-lapse video that unfortunately failed to capture Perseid meteor shower well because of too much air traffic in the area. Landscape photographer Henry Jun Wah Lee attempted the same kind of video in Joshua Tree National Park. Even though there’s still quite a bit of air traffic, you can clearly see quite a few shooting stars that light up the sky.
Regarding the issue of shooting stars being so brief in a time-lapse video (an issue that arose in the comments of our previous post), Lee writes in the Vimeo comments:
Each of the meteors only last 1 frame but with so many during the meteor shower, it looks like a lot going on. Wide aperture also makes the trails look wider/more visible. And I angle the lens so that it picks up as much of the trail as possible when a meteor goes across the sky. In this case, I pointed away from the source direction. So you see longer streaks. I only use 1 second intervals between exposures for smooth motion.
The photos were shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and EF 16-35mm L lens at f/2.8, ISO6400, and 20 second exposures. There’s also the obligatory Sigur Ros music accompanying the video.
Vimeo user ph dee went out to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park last night after hearing that it’s a great place to watch meteor showers. After spending four hours shooting frames for a Perseid meteor shower timelapse video, he discovered that the heavy air traffic in the area dominated the scene.
Luckily for us, he still went ahead and created the video, publishing it to his Vimeo stream with the title “Perseid Meteor Shower Failure“. Even though you don’t get to see much of the Perseid meteor shower, the video offers a breathtaking view of the Earth rotating and airplanes shooting across the sky. Meteor shower fail. Timelapse win.
The first part of the video was captured with a Canon 20D and intervalometer, while the second part was shot with a Canon 5D Mark 2 and Sigma 20mm f/1.8 at f/2 and 30 second exposures on continuous shooting mode with the shutter depressed.