Aug 12, 2016

The Milky Way and Perseid Shower August 10th

I was shocked recently when I heard that in North America in particular, nearly 80 per cent of us can no longer see the Milky Way at night. I've been out enjoying it regularly and in the last week or so with the moon as a sliver in the sky it has been especially amazing! A very interesting radio segment and I was pleased to hear that the fact that we can see the milky way also is a bonus to our health as it means that we get a true amount of darkness at night to keep our Circadian rhythm humming along nicely.

The cherry on the cake was last night's special Perseid meteor shower. I read some amazing facts on NASA's blog about this event.

“The meteors you’ll see this year are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago and they’ve traveled billions of miles before their kamikaze run into Earth’s atmosphere.”

National Geographic has a great article about how to watch the supercharged Perseid meteor shower which I would recommend reading as there are some excellent points. One of which is you need to allow 45 minutes for you eyes to truly adjust to the darkness. You can't expect to set your alarm and walk out and just see the true depth and colour of the night time sky. This is especially so if you've been watching the Olympics on your TV screen or looking at a device.

Also, one thing I would have done differently is set my camera on tripod during the day and pre-focused the camera to my favorite vista. If you are shooting straight up to the stars with no silhouettes of closer objects you can manually set your focal point to infinity but if you want some context like a mountain top or tree then you'll have an easier time to with focus in daylight.

If you're having trouble seeing the night sky then check out The New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness and see where the closest 'darker' location you can go to get a better view.

depth and color of night sky is outstanding!

my ten year old couldn't keep his eyes open after midnight

the gorgeous milky way from our home in British Columbia

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