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'Catch a falling star'

Hawksmoor

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Capturing images of meteors is a bit like fishing. After the event, you are always haunted by the big one that got away!

My widest camera lens is a Canon 18-55mm EFS zoom and even though this covers quite a bit of sky there is plenty left in which a bright meteor can suddenly appear.

As I had two camera bodies, a Canon 600D and 400D DSLR, I decided to try and use them in tandem to improve my chances of capturing more meteors. Fabricating a ‘meteor rig’, reusing equipment and materials to hand, seemed to be an interesting project.

I already had:

  • Two Canon camera bodies
  • One reasonably wide angle Canon camera lens
  • An old Meade ETX tripod
  • A  Star Adventurer Equatorial mount.
  • A homemade connecting bar (for linking the Star Adventurer to the ETX tripod.
  • A ball head connector for the Star Adventurer
  • A  length of oak batten
  • An inexpensive Chinese intervalometer
  • Some large rubber bands
  • A collection of stainless steel nuts bolts and washers

What I needed to acquire:

  • Another matching Canon 18-55mm EFS zoom lens. After surfing ‘the Bay’ I managed to find and purchase one in good condition for under £40 inc VAT and delivery.
  • A mini ball head for mounting one of the camera bodies on the oak batten (the other camera was to be mounted directly) - £9
  • Another intervalometer - £13

A little bit of woodwork and trial and error allowed me to construct a meteor rig which allows each camera to point independently in RA and Alt but move together on an equatorial basis. I have had one trial run which managed to capture a bright sporadic meteor on both cameras. Interestingly, even though the camera settings were kept the same, the 600D and 400D images were slightly different (the 400D images were noisier).

‘Metcheck’ is predicting bad weather in Lowestoft for the night of Perseid maximum. Sorry, I guess it’s my entire fault!

 

Meteor Rig 004.png



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