Categories: Astrophotos

Astrophoto: Sky Island by Sean Parker

It’s true, the Perseid Meteor shower is the best star show of the year. But sometimes a little enhancement doesn’t hurt. I’ll let astrophotographer Sean Parker tell the story of this image:

A fellow star gazer friend and I both love space and also happen to love photography, so we packed up our gear and headed to the best place to observe the night sky that we know of, Mt. Lemmon. We set up 2 different time-lapses and this was a frame from one of them. In the time-lapse it shows us and other stargazers sitting on the rock observing the Perseid Meteor Shower under the dark skies about 40 minutes out of Tucson in the Catalina Mountains. Unfortunately there was some cloud cover which limited our view, but we were still able to see an acceptable amount of shooting stars.

Because there were other observers using their flashlights in the area, I decided to add some light painting gestures to the shot here and there. The shot is of me holding my phone and doing a circle motion and it just happened to be perfect timing with the meteor going by above the tree.

The Photo was taken at 1:48 AM. The clouds are reflecting the city lights of Tucson, Arizona. I’ve also added a warmer temperature to the image, but not much.

Camera Details:

Canon 5D MK II
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L
20 Second exposure @ ISO-1600

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Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at and and Instagram at and

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