Can you figure out what’s wrong with this picture?

Answer: it was taken at 1 in the morning by moonlight. Isn’t that amazing? You’d think it was taken at sunrise.

And what was I doing snapping pictures at 1 in the morning? I was meteor watching, something I’ve never done before. Perseids, to be precise. To my surprise,¹ I saw several meteors, including a couple of very nice ones. However, my goal was to get a picture of meteors, and I failed miserably at that. Also, I had bad luck. I initially adjusted my camera settings for a long shutter speed, and several meteors streaked across the sky during this session. However, none of them showed up in the images.

So then I re-adjusted my settings to be more meteor-friendly (I think), and naturally there were no meteors. Finally, as I went back to my car, a really nice meteor streaked by, and this got me all excited again. So I took a bunch more pictures. But no meteors.

Hmmph. The good news is that I learned what I think I need to do. Maybe I’ll go out again tonight. The moon is coming up later, and if I go out an hour earlier I should have a pretty dark sky to work with. I also think I can get my camera to take pictures automatically with no manual intervention from me. Gotta check out the instruction manual about that.

Anyway, if I give it another try and have any success, you’ll be the first to know.

¹Why was I surprised? I guess because I’m a city boy and I’ve never seen a meteor before. Deep inside, I’m not sure I believed they’d really show up until I saw one myself.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate