Eta Aquarides: how to watch (and photograph) shooting stars tonight? –

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower reaches peak activity on the night of 5 to 6 May. It’s not the most intense star shower of the year, it’s the Perseids in August with 50 to 100 meteors per hour vs. 30 average for eta aquaridbut it is to his credit that he arrives at the beginning of the season, and the weather is currently quite mild with clear skies over a good part of mainland France.

So why not indulge yourself with an eye roll? In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know to get the most out of your event.

How to observe the Eta Aquarids?

The first thing to know is thatit is better to stay up late, even very late (between 3 and 5 o’clock in the morning) enjoy the brightest spectacle. Of course, there is no point in looking at the sky if the weather is capricious… so check the forecast before going out.

Another important point get as far away from light pollution as possible urban centers, otherwise the inconvenience will be too great. Available on Android and iOS, the Light Pollution Map app allows you to find areas that have survived around your location.

After correct installation stand facing southeast and look for the constellation Aquarius. If you’re having trouble, apps like Sky Safari (see below) can help. They have a Compass mode that allows you to quickly find the desired constellation.

SkySafari is a mobile astronomy app that allows you to observe the stars, follow comets and always learn more about constellations, planets and the solar system.

  • Downloads: 524
  • Date of issue : 02/17/2022
  • Author: Corp. Modeling Curriculum
  • License: commercial license
  • Categories:
    Astronomy – Science
  • Operating system : Android – iOS iPhone/iPad – macOS

To go further, take pictures

Why not go ahead and try shooting shooting stars? In fact, contrary to what you might think, the task is not that difficult. Indeed, the key is to switch your camera (or your smartphone) to manual mode so that you can control the exposure parameters (light entering the camera) and do what is called a long exposure. Specifically, it is about asking the device to expose the sensor to light for a longer time than usual (to learn how to take such pictures, it’s here), by l ‘accident about ten seconds with a wide angle lens (Ideally 14 to 35 mm).

However, this requires use (absolutely mandatory) tripod because the device or phone needs to move as little as possible during the 10 plus second exposure (be careful not to take too long an exposure, otherwise all the stars in the sky will be in the form of lines).

Thanks to these famous long exposures, the device will be able to record all the shooting stars that pass through its field! For the other two exposure settings, be sure to fairly low ISO and relatively small aperture so that there is not too much light in your photos. Also pay attention to focus righttaking for example a luminous element located far from you, and on choose a good foreground. Indeed, photographing only the sky is not very interesting. The decor in the foreground should be beautiful.

And if your device has an intervalometer, use it. Once the exposure settings are to your liking, this tool will allow you to let the camera work on its own. As soon as he finishes his photo, he will automatically take another one and so on. Let it run for 1 hour and look at your photos, it’s safe to say that some of them will have shooting stars, like in this picture we took during our trip to Norway:

Image credit: Karyl AIT KACI ALI /

To go even further:

Cover image: Achim Kleist/Pixabay

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