2012 Lyrid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend!

A Lyrid meteor over the Presidential Range, NH

A Lyrid meteor over the Presidential Range, NH

The Lyrids are almost here! It’s been a long 3 months since there has been a meteor shower to write home about. This weekend the condition will be perfect! As long as you have clear skies, viewing these meteors won’t be hard at all. The shower will peak Saturday night April 21st into the morning hours of April 22nd. If you can pull an “all night ‘r”  I suggest you do it that night.. If the forecast isn’t looking good for your area,  try to view the shower the night before, there will still be meteors as the shower starts on the 16th and ending on the 24th of april.

Sky Chart

Sky Chart

I have seen and heard reports of some fireballs in the evening as the radiant breeches the horizon. Look for the bright fireballs between 8pm and 10pm.

Perseid Fireball over Kauai

Expect 15-20 meteors per hour. In years past, there have been records of the shower going crazy peaking  over 100 meteors per hour. We don’t know what it will be like this year until it’s over.  This year, I will be perched up into the mountains high above light pollution. I’m hoping for clear skies!

 Virginia Skies

Let me know if you see any!

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Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2012 – Florida Keys Style

The Quadrantid Meteor Shower of 2012 was incredible! For the second year in a row, I was able to catch this shower under dark skies. This year I was fortunate enough to get flight to the Florida Keys to photograph the first meteor shower of 2012. (Thanks buddy, you know who you are). We flew into Key West on Tuesday morning and scouted out possible locations  to shoot the shower from over a 55 mile stretch of highway. We came up with some solid locations to shoot from and we had plenty of  time to bounce to different spots before the shower really picked up in intensity.

I took this shot in the early morning hours of January 4th, 2012.

Quadrantid Meteor and the Zodiac Lights

You can even see  the “Zodiac Lights” appearing as an illuminated looking triangular shape in the very early hours before sunrise (local time). You would think it was warm there… well,  it was almost freezing out.

Artic Air Plunges South - Accuweather

Artic Air Plunges South - Accuweather

The temp went down to 45 degrees near Big Pine Key, and with the wind chill, it felt like the 30’s. Keep in mind the all time record low for Key West, FL is 41. This was almost record cold for the southern most part in the Continental US.

Key West All Time Record Low is 41. I recorded 45 degrees near Big Pine Key, FL.

Key West All Time Record Low is 41. I recorded 45 degrees near Big Pine Key, FL.

 We decided to leave last minute when we saw the low temperatures where I live would be in the single digits with wind chills below zero. I did that last year and it was tough on the body and mind, not to mention the cold drained my batteries faster than ever and it was hard on the gear. It was nice to have only 4 layers of clothes on instead of 8.

3 Amigos and a Meteor Shower

3 Amigos and a Meteor Shower

I don’t go out for one or two hours during a meteor shower. I go out for the entire night. You greatly increase your chances at seeing more meteors and your chances for capturing one with your camera also increase. I don’t set up multiple cameras simple because being behind the “helm” when you capture one is the best feeling about photographing these showers, it makes the memory and photograph you just created much more personal.

2012 Quadrantid Meteor Shower - Dawn on a Meteor

2012 Quadrantid Meteor Shower - Dawn on a Meteor

This meteor shower was great to me last year and it was even better to me this year. I’m already loking forward to next years Quadrantids, but from where will I see them? Only time will tell. One thig I do know and that 2012 has started off on the right foot. Happy 2012 Everyone! I hope all of your wishes come true.
 
Quadrantid Meteor and the Zodiac Lights - Near Big Pine Key, FL

Quadrantid Meteor and the Zodiac Lights - Near Big Pine Key, FL

The “2012” is not photoshopped in. This is the RAW file.
 

Fine Art Prints can be ordered through my website at  www.jeffberkesphotography.com

UPDATE: 1.8.2012  –   Thanks for all the comments everyone! It’s been overwhelming with the amount of emails and messages I have been receiving. Just want to let you know that I appreciate every single one of them. I will respond to all very soon.  Many Thanks!