Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Persiods

The Persoids is an annual meteor shower that occurs in early to mid-August. The meteors are caused by a stream of debris left over from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

You can see it in the northern sky where I live.

I decided I wanted to try to catch a meteor on film. I decided to use my Nikon Coolpix P500, which does not have the best manual settings, but does have some. It is a point-and-shoot with a zoom lens, but it is not a DSLR.

We had a bit of cloud cover. I shot this at dusk, using the "dust/dawn" setting on the camera. I also used a tripod AND used the self-timer on the camera in order to avoid shaking anything.

The streak in this picture is an air craft, not a meteor.

However, the little tiny streak in this picture is, I think, a meteor, though I won't swear to it. It only showed up in this one shot, though, whatever it is. I suppose it could be a plane or a satellite.

Here it is again with a line drawn around it so you can see it better.

All in all, considering the camera I was using really isn't made for taking pictures like this, I was pleased with these results. At least the stars are in the sky and I did catch *something* on film. I took well over 150 shots just to catch this little blip.

I had better results using the dusk/dawn setting on the camera than I did using the manual setting and fiddling with the menus. Something to note if you want to try this yourself sometime with a point-and-shoot digital. The scene settings do make a difference.


  1. I considered (for about 2 seconds) trying to capture it on my camera but then just said... "nah". If it takes too much thought then I'm over it. I'm kinda lazy that way. Good for you for taking a stab at it!

  2. Love the light in the top photo, Anita, and too cool that you managed to capture a meteor. We couldn't see the Persiads here as we had heavy cloud cover.


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