I always look forward to the Geminid meteor shower every year. It's one of the best showers and 2014 was set to be good as the moon was waning. The weather has ruined viewing chances on the peak night this past few years and 2014 looked to be no different. With this in mind I decided to try my chances on the 12th - a day before the peak.
The destination was my home area in west Tyrone which has pretty dark skies. This is a wide angle shot with the Samyang 14mm, you can see the first geminid of the night caught on camera above the large tree.
Another Geminid here close to the horizon. Note the green colour in the meteor as it vaporized in our atmosphere.
The above image is a crop from a wide angle shot, check out the geminid burning up close to Orions sword
I stayed out past 4am observing but didn't see a significant number of meteors which was disappointing, perhaps the peak night was much better. I created this star-trail image from over 120 patrol images taken later in the night. There are a few fainter ones but they are lost in the trails. The hunt goes on for that fireball meteor caught on camera...
Tuesday night was clear so decided to make the trip up to Loughmacrory to take some shots. I haven't tried a star-trail for a while so after some searching for some foreground and a composition i was happy with i set the camera up for a 1 hour trail. 145 images later here is the result.
The water was so calm that night and i picked up some nice reflections as a result, thanks for looking.
Fanad Head Lighthouse
This was my first proper photo shoot with the new camera in a dark moonless sky. I have been eager to get back to this location since visiting it during the summer. Fanad Head is one of the more northerly points of County Donegal and at the northern tip stands the iconic Fanad Head Lighthouse. Me and my Photographer buddy Martin McKenna had discussed this area for a night-sky shoot for some time. So Martin, his girlfriend Roisin and i landed at our target area just as darkness was setting in.
This is looking north, one of the first shots of the night.
A little later and the MilkyWay was really bright now. The quality of the dark night sky up here was evident.
We were aware of a small chance of aurora activity on the night and sure enough i caught this green glow on the horizon with subtle red colour above. What was also noticable on the night was the green airglow in the sky, probably the brightest ive ever seen. You can see it above and to the left of the aurora.
Testing out the high ISO on the 6d on the next two images. Looking straight up at the lighthouse and Milkyway with Andromeda Galaxy top of frame - ISO 10,000 20 second exposure.
ISO 12,800 and 15 second exposure on this one, lots of green airglow evident here too.
Check out Orion rising over the hills to the left of the lighthouse. One of the final images from a thrilling shoot at a new location and a return visit is on the cards perhaps with some moolight to play with.
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