Sunday, November 17, 2013

Trying for Meteors and the Comet and the Vagaries of New England Weather

Full Moon
Welcome to New England. Why do I say that? Right now the night sky is very active with the Leonid meteor shower, a full moon, and comet ISON. Yesterday, in the late afternoon I checked the weather forecast and the sky at Gooseberry was supposed to be clear with may be a few clouds toward sunrise. Just before I went to sleep I rechecked the forecast and it was showing a few more clouds throughout the night. My grandson and I arrived at Gooseberry about 1:15 AM, with a bright shining moon and clouds in the sky. I first obtain some moon pictures utilizing my 500 mm lens.
Full Moon in the Clouds

Full Moon in the Clouds


I like the way the clouds were moving across the sky so I set up my camera with the 24 mm f1.4 Rokinon lens and because it was so bright out I first had to adjust all my settings so I would not overexpose the picture. I then used the interval settings in my Nikon and obtained around 187 exposures and after correcting for the brightness of the moon, in Lightroom I created a video showing the movement of the clouds and stars across the night sky.
video 




Because it was so bright out I took a series of pictures showing what Gooseberry looks like at night. It was fun photographing under a Full moon, which supplies all the light needed.

Gooseberry at Night


Gooseberry at Night

Gooseberry at Night

Gooseberry at Night

Gooseberry at Night By increasing my exposure from 2.5 sec. to 10 sec I was able to smooth out the water
The clouds started to move away and the sky in the East was clearing and the stars were appearing, so we were getting ready to look for meteors and to await the rising of the constellation Virgo, in which we were hoping to capture the comet.

When we first arrived the clouds were moving from West to East, but this is New England and suddenly the sky got dark and even the moon was covered by dark clouds, which were moving from South to North. The clouds were moving fast and that was no end in sight, oh well we did get some interesting pictures and enjoyed ourselves. There was minimal breeze, even though the temperature was in the high 30s to low 40s, we were dressed appropriately and were comfortable. Here is a short video showing the clouds moving in.


video

I will continue to watch the weather forecast and if the night appears to be clear, I shall return. I do want a photograph of the comet before it travels around the sun.