Here’s how to see and photograph the Perseid meteor shower on Aug. 12-13 – National


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The annual Perseid meteor bathe is about to peak this weekend, driving stargazers away from metropolis lights to look at and seize arguably the most well-liked celestial occasion of the yr.

Annually Earth plows by way of a stream of particles from 109P/Swift-Tuttle, a comet that orbits the solar as soon as each 133 years. Because the particles enters our environment, it burns up creating meteors, “capturing stars” and typically fireballs. As NASA explains fireballs are typically bigger explosions of sunshine and color that will linger longer than a median meteor streak.

WATCH: Time-lapse video captures Perseid’s peak (2016)

It takes about three weeks for Earth to plow by way of the particles area, permitting for some meteors to be seen as early as July 17 to Aug. 24, in line with NASA. The speed of seen meteors will increase because it nears the height of the occasion earlier than slowly trailing off.

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This yr’s present peaks on the moonless night time of Aug. 12 from four p.m. EDT till four a.m. the next morning. Throughout this yr’s peak, stargazers can count on to see 60 to 70 meteors per hour.

The Perseids are named for the constellation from which they seem to originate, on this case Perseus, which is seen within the northern sky shortly after sundown in August. NASA notes that you simply don’t need to be trying straight on the constellation to see the capturing stars; some meteors will probably be seen straight overheard.

WATCH: What causes meteor showers?

If you happen to’re hoping to get a glimpse of the celestial occasion, and maybe it, listed below are some viewing ideas.

Get away from metropolis lights

It goes with out saying, if you wish to see the celebs, you’re going to need to get away from gentle air pollution from main metropolis centres and head to a darkish spot.

Deliver a tripod

Usually when photographing the night time sky, it requires longer exposures to the likes of not less than 15 seconds to 40 or extra relying in your digicam, and the impact you’re going for. So, which means you’ll have to mount the digicam on a tripod to stop shaky palms from blurring and working your picture. Heavier tripods are inclined to work higher, as they have an inclination to face as much as slight wind gusts and even floor motion attributable to the vibrations of strolling close by. If you’re utilizing a lighter tripod, you should utilize sandbags or private belongings positioned on the toes of the tripod to carry it regular.


It’s finest to decide on the widest angle lens you may have in your equipment because it permits so that you can seize extra of the night time’s sky, creating a greater probability of recording a capturing star. The decrease the lens’ aperture the higher to let in as a lot gentle in as attainable; use one thing like f2.eight or f1.eight.

Distant shutter launch or self-timer

It’s a good suggestion to make use of the digicam’s self-timer or a distant shutter launch to set off the beginning of the publicity so that you don’t run the chance of transferring your digicam when urgent the button. Even when mounted on a tripod, the slightest digicam shake can have an effect on the sharpness and high quality of the picture.


Publicity setting may be difficult. As Earth rotates, the celebs additionally seem to maneuver and the longer the publicity, the extra seemingly the possibility you’ll seize the motion. To seek out a place to begin, the very best factor to do is determine the longest publicity time earlier than capturing star trails. You are able to do that through the use of the 600 or 500 Rule. On a full-frame digicam, take 500 and divide by the size of the lens. The ultimate quantity would be the most size of time in seconds earlier than your digicam will start to file star trails.

For instance: Taking pictures with a 24mm lens can be 500 divided by 24, providing you with the bottom of 21 seconds.

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As for aperture and ISO, it’s finest shoot on the most f-stop (smallest quantity) your lens permits with a purpose to seize probably the most quantity. And as for the ISO, sometimes wherever from 1600 to 3200 is really useful.

Lastly, be sure you verify the climate earlier than heading out with all of your gear. If the climate is cooperating through the peak of the meteor bathe, you continue to have a while to seize capturing stars till Aug. 24.

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