Between the 11th & 13th August the perseid meteor shower will once again be visible. This will peak on Friday night when you can expect to see many metors burn up in the upper atmosphere. Its an impressive sight, and one that you can not only see, but capture on your camera, in fact you can get some great shots with only an iPhone!
You’ll need an iPhone 3G along with the Slow Shutter Cam app from Cogitap Software, its 69p and well worth it. This allows the shutter to remain open for a longer period of time, and hopefully catching a meteor. Just open App Store on your phone and download! (I’m sure that there are similar apps for Android phones too)
To take full advantage of this app I would recommend getting your iPhone set up on a tripod. I have been using an adapted generic (cheap) car windscreen mobile phone holder. I sourced the correct sized nut and glued it to the holder. I can then attach it to any tripod, although normally use a jobby gorilla grip on it.
These elements are all you need to use your iPhone to shoot great shots!
The settings I have been using to catch the ISS are
Capture Mode = Light Trail
Shutter speed = B (Bulb)
This should work for the meteors..
I would also recommend you enable the Screen Shutter function that allows you to tap anywhere on the screen to take a shot..
Once you have an image or images of the night sky, or even pictures of you and your friends at your observing site or meteorwatch party. Tweet them using the #meteorwatch hashtag and they will automatically appear on the meteorwatch photo gallery.
Everyone is welcome to join in, whether they are an astronomer, have a slight interest in the night sky or just wonder?
As well as looking up, enjoying the night sky with us and seeing meteors, maybe for the first time? You will have the opportunity to contribute to Science if you wish, by tweeting and seeing your results on a map, or by submitting Observing Formsif you are a more serious observer.
This event follows on from the popular Twitter Meteorwatchheld in August and December 2009 "Meteorwatch 2009"
Use the hash tag: #Meteorwatch and get involved, ask questions, do some science, follow the event and enjoy the wonders of the night sky with us. Images and other information will be tweeted as it happens. Live!
The highlight of the summer meteor showers: The Perseids, reach maximum around The 12th of August and may put on a display of aproximately 80 to 100 meteors per hour under ideal viewing conditions. Conditions this year are good due to there being no moon visible. Let’s hope the skies stay clear.
Perseid meteors are often bright with persistent trails which can linger for a while after the meteor has burned up. Further information on the Perseid meteor shower and how to view it, can be found in this site.
While you are looking for meteors, there will be other objects to look out for such as the Planet Jupiter, the Milky Way, Summer Triangle and manmade Satellites and more.
The Twitter Meteorwatch will start at 21.30 BST on the 11th of August and will continue through to the evening of the 14th of August. Amateur and professional astronomers from the US and other countries are invited to join in and take over from the UK, when the sun comes up here, helping make the event run continuously and be truly international. The event will close in the UK, in the early hours of the 15th of August 2010.