Geminid Meteor Shower 2018

The stars at Crex Meadows

My buddy John Pennoyer and I made a short overnight trip to Crex Meadows in western Wisconsin to photograph the Geminid Meteor shower.  We arrived on Friday afternoon in time for a very nice sunset.  The clouds were lit with a nice pink glow that was complimented by the ice on the main dike.  

My favorite birch grove.

Crex main dike.

Nice as the sunset was, we were there for the meteor shower.  We had a very good fish fry at T-Dogs in Grantsburg, Wisconsin and were back out to Crex by 11:00pm.  We spent a little over two hours photographing the stars.  I had two goals.  0ne was to create a star trail and the other was to capture a couple of shots of the shooting stars.  The peak for the Geminid show was estimated to be 100 meteors per hour.  We didn't get near that many (however we were concentrated on one section of the sky so we may have missed some).  We saw 20 meteors in about two hours.  Here are the results of the photo session.

Star trails - a composite of 100 images.

The best single meteor captured in the sessions.

The approach to getting the images was to set-up a series of 20-second shots with a two-second delay between shots.  To create the star trail image, I combined 100 images using a software package called Star Stacker.  John and I stood out in the 20 degrees cold for about 45 minutes, then retired to the car for warmth.  

The main problem in this type of photography is the rude interruption of the series by a passing car.

Damn car!

I had three images with the car and its headlights.  We went out and restarted the series, so it worked out ok, but it is always a hazard.  We figured there wouldn't be anyone out this late on a cold winter night, but we were wrong.  I mean who is crazy enough to do that?

The next morning we had breakfast at the Cozy Cafe then went out for a final run around Crex.  John spotted some nice ice formations on the lake and we stopped for some bonus images.

Ice ripples in black and white.

My buddy John, happy to be cold and shooting photos!

All in all, this was a great trip.  John is always good company and we got more photo ops than we anticipated.  

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