How about a good way to practice photographing meteors?
Meteor showers are predictable. We know when they occur, and why they occur. They are clumpy streams of debris they follow the orbits of comets, and
some asteroids. Generally small particles that have been blown off the surface of those parent bodies. This weekend, is the peak of shower called the
Eta Aquarid. Member Fireballstorm, has created a great thread about this shower, and it's surprising source, for those who don't know.
Here is that thread.www.abovetopsecret.com...
Now back to meteors in general. The showers may be predictable, but each individual meteor is not. If you have a nice tripod, and some sort of
automatic shutter control, you can just point your tripod mounted camera, and let it snap photo after photo..Then look through them all later.
Otherwise, you sit with the camera, and use a cable release, and do it manually. The first method is preferred, because you can lay back and watch the
sky while your camera does it's work.
How to practice?
Iridium satellites, that's how. Iridiums, are a large group of satellites that have flat reflective surfaces. Those surfaces can sometimes reflect
sunlight from over the horizon, directly down to you!
To find out if one of these satellites is going to produce an "Iridium Flare" at your location simply visit a website called
. Then click on Iridium flares. you will get a listing of potentially visible flares for your
area. The list will include the brightness, or magnitude. The lower the number, the better.
Here is a chart showing magnitudes of familiar objects, from that site.
Sun -26.7 (about 400 000 times brighter than full Moon!)
Full Moon -12.7
Brightest Iridium flares -8
Venus (at brightest) -4.4
International Space Station -2
Sirius (brightest star) -1.44
Limit of human eye +6 to +7
Limit of 10x50 binoculars +9
Limit of Hubble Space Telescope +30
So now you know, when, and where. You just have to point your camera in that direction, and open the shutter.
More predictable than a meteor. But a great way to practice.
Here is one of my results.