Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower Will Be Visible Thursday Night July 28th, Through End of July
Pros offer some tips for viewing a meteor shower, including how to capture it on camera
August 1, 2022
The annual Delta Aquariids meteor shower falls in line with a New Moon this year, making this week the perfect time to see 'shooting stars' at their best and brightest, and have great chances at capturing them on camera.
Prime time to see the meteors is between Thursday July 28th, in line with the New Moon (which means the moon won't be visible, so the sky will be ultra dark), until Sunday 31st July.
You'll want to find a location that's away from light pollution.. Once you're set up, lie flat on your back and look up to take in as much of the sky as possible. Look towards the Aquarius constellation (an augmented reality app like SkyView can help you find it) for your best chance of seeing the Delta Aquariids.
When heading out to a remote location at night, it's important to stay safe and warm. Pack a flask, water, and snacks to keep you going, plus warm clothes and a blanket for when the temperature drops. Wear sturdy shoes if you're heading off-road, figure out directions before you set off in case of signal blackouts, and always tell a family member or friend where you're heading in case of emergency.
How to capture the Delta Aquariids on camera: For typical astrophotography, here's a checklist for the best camera settings:
Choose a higher ISO, between 1600 and 6400 - this means the camera is more sensitive to light. The exact ISO you should use will vary between cameras and conditions, so experiment by taking a set of photos and increase the ISO each time to determine which gives you the best results.
Take a tripod - typical expose times for astrophotography can vary, usually between 5 and 30 seconds, and your camera needs to remain completely still for the duration for a sharper image.
Use a large aperture - if you can adjust the aperture on your camera, aim for a large setting (between ƒ/2.8 and ƒ/4). This helps to maximise the amount of light going into your camera lens.
For capturing a meteor shower like the Delta Aquariids, the best camera settings will vary depending on the specific conditions that night; but you should start by opening the lens to the widest aperture and setting a high ISO (though not too high or the images may start to appear noisy and washed out). Use the '500 rule' to calculate your shutter speed, then you can manually adjust the aperture and ISO to improve your images.
Best smartphones for astrophotography: Most smartphones on the market now have some pretty sophisticated technology that makes astrophotography using your phone easier. But if you have one of the following, you're in luck, as they're among models that stand out for their astrophotography capabilities:
Samsung Galaxy S21 Pro / Ultra
Apple iPhone 13 Pro / Pro Max
Google Pixel 6 Pro
OnePlus 9 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Huawei P40 Pro / Pro Plus
Google Pixel 5 / 5a
Meanwhile, some of the best cameras are: Nikon D850 DSLR
Sony A7 III, Canon EOS 6D Mark II, Fujifilm X-T4, Canon EOS Ra, Nikon Z6 / Z6 II
Kain Jones, CEO of Pixsy, offers some extra tips: "As you develop a talent for astrophotography and take particularly good shots, you could turn this hobby into a source of income. We've put together five ways to generate money from photography in an online guide. Remember that you own the copyright for the photos that you take, so make sure you protect your photos from theft and infringement by monitoring where they're used online. Brush up on image copyright laws so that you know what to do if your photos are used without your permission."