With all the hype, I figured I better go out and try again. I’ve tried many times to capture a meteor with my camera. There were supposed to be 100 meteors per hour last night. That sounds like a lot but I figure more than half of them are to faint to see in the confines of downtown Phoenix. Usually they fall when you least expect it, when you just took your eyes off the sky for a second, or looked a different direction. Then you just catch a fleeting glimpse from your peripheral vision, and it’s gone. Don’t you hate it when someone says”Did you see that one? It was the best one of the night ….awesome!” while you were bent over to tie your shoe, or sneeze, or were just looking down to get the permanent kink out of your neck.
So last night I decided I’d go out to the Encanto Golf Course….just a block away, and point my camera at Orion, my favorite constellation. Gave myself about 30 minutes. My dog Max accompanied me, wondering why I was just standing out in the middle of a fairway at 1 o’clock in the morning. Of course I saw 3 great meteors while getting things set up and figuring out exposures….. but of course. It is a known fact that when you put up a camera to capture a meteor fall the Universe sees this, and makes adjustments in the trajectories of all future meteors to either fall outside your narrow window of vision (I don’t have a fish-eye lens), or times all future meteors in that area to fall just after the shutter closes. This is a known fact, and I can vouch for it over many years of experience.
Knowing this to be the truth, you can get very frustrated. This time I decided to pretend I didn’t care. I’ll just leave the camera in one place, and just keep taking 30 second exposures until I get bored. I’ve played the game of changing the camera view to where the last meteor fell. Oh yes…..sort like jumping lines in grocery store….never works. You can point your camera to the spot where 5 meteors just flew by in the last 30 seconds, but once you put your camera there that’s it. There won’t be another one there for hours….because they are all falling in the area you just moved your camera from.
So, I let the Universe know that I could care less. I was just out to enjoy a few meteors, stare at Orion’s belt, sword, the Great Orion Nebulae and then go back to bed. You think I could give a rat’s ass if there is a meteor in my picture? Max and I have better things to do, like sleep. I took about 70 shots and called it a night, and I did see several nice falling stars. I don’t think Max saw any.
To paraphrase from The Alchemist, sometimes the Universe does conspire to give you what you want. It’s not spectacular, or bright, or long, but I got one. Does this mean I’ll stay in and sleep next time? Probably not, I’m addicted to experiencing the free shows of the Universe.