Waiting for the Perseids

Waiting for the Perseids (5038)
Waiting for the Perseids. (Click on the photo for added detail.)

I cannot believe I almost went a whole week without writing. Things just didn’t align properly on my usual writing days, and postponement quickly became cancellation. I barely managed to scrape some time just now, as I wait for lunch to cook, to share a photo from a couple weeks ago. I think I mentioned before that we went to the event organized by the Malta Astronomical Society near Żabbar. As expected, there were lots of people there, and I mean really lots. Sadly, the Maltese don’t seem to have a clue what stargazing is all about, and frankly there was too much light, between people using flashlights (without any red filter) or smartphones, etc. It doesn’t help that the Maltese like their food and creature comforts, so of course there were people having beer, etc.

We arranged to meet some friends of ours there, and while R and R stayed with the kids where the telescopes were set up, S and I walked down to the shoreline where I set up my camera for a few shots. I tried a few with buildings in the picture, and eventually settled for a much wider view of the sky with continuous back to back exposures, in the hope that I’d get at least one meteor to show up. As it turned out, I didn’t, most likely because they were to faint to show up on my relatively slow lenses (f/4 isn’t much these days). However, exposure was more than enough for the stars (I had done this before). What you see gives you a reasonable idea of what it was like. The sky above was dark enough, but nearer the horizon it was too polluted. The lights in the distance are ships, probably on Hurd’s bank, several miles out. The yellow glow on the rocks is from buildings close by. We have far too much light pollution on this little island. The only time I remember seeing the Milky way was on a camping trip in Gozo many years back.

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