You don’t need anything other than a little patience to observe meteors. Just lie back in a reclining chair if you can (saves a lot of neck pain) and look up. The advice is usually to look about 30-40 degrees away from the radiant and about 60 degrees up to get a good chance of seeing more meteors. But remember meteors can appear in any part of the sky at any time. The closer to the radiant they are, the shorter the trails will be – further away trails appear longer.

Fixed cameraTo image meteors a camera on a fixed tripod is sufficient, preferably with a remote shutter release, but this is not essential as you can use the camera’s delay timer. The length of exposure you can use without stars appearing to trail is dependent on the focal length of the lens you are using. A basic rule of thumb is to divide 500 by the focal length of the lens, and that gives you the exposure in seconds. For example, a 28mm focal length lens should be able to do 18 seconds without any significant trails showing. Work out what the best ISO is for your camera to make it as sensitive as possible without introducing too much noise. Something between 800 and 3200 should be fine.

Because stars are faint and small your auto-focus may not work well – or at all – so you will probably have to focus the camera manually. This is critical! There’s no point spending an evening taking hundreds of exposures only to find that all of them are blurred afterwards. Take some time over this to get it spot on. Here’s a tutorial on using Live View to get the focus right.

If you manage to image or observe any meteors, please post your images and observations to our  Flickr groupFacebook page or Twitter feed.