On no other night of the year are there more shooting stars than during the most prolific meteor shower; the Perseids. There are 100 shooting stars per hour; this means that 100 people can make a wish per hour! How many of those will be fulfilled is unknown, but you can influence the outcome.
Clear starry sky. Cloudy future.
How many of the 50 - 140 shooting stars you will see depends on the light pollution. That's what you call the phenomenon in a town when the starry sky "disappears". The less surrounding light on the ground, the better you can see the starry sky, as, for example, in the Child & Family project countries Honduras, Nigeria or in the Philippines. And we wish that the people in these countries see more shooting stars than anywhere else, as they have too many unfulfilled wishes, so theirs should be at the top of the priority list.
One wish, for example, would be a stable power supply. The reason why it is so much darker during the night in these countries than it is here, as you can see on a map of the world by night, is because the power supply is still at a very low level. This is reflected by the amount of power used too: the usage per person in Austria or in Germany is 65 times higher than in Nigeria, and approximately 14 times higher than in Honduras or in the Philippines. And southern countries, such as Spain or Italy, also use approximately 42 times more than in Nigeria or 10 times more power than a person in Honduras or in the Philippines.
Sometimes, it's not always a disadvantage if you can't spend the night vegging in front of the tv and have to go to bed when the sun goes down, and then get up when the sun rises. However, a lack of power has more far-reaching consequences than we'd like to believe, such as education. You can't do homework in the dark, and working in weak candlelight eventually has a negative impact on your eyesight. No power also means: no computer lessons. In this day and age of digitalisation, this is not a personal or economic advantage.
Make wishes come true
To meet our true love, to have good health, to pass an exam, or to win the lottery, these are all things that people wish for. However, some wishes are for things that we take for granted: such as a decent quality of life, running water, electric lights or to have a career. To have a decent quality of life depends on the opportunity to get learn a skill for a career, and to be able to practice it. The foundation for that is the relevant school education. You can make this wish come true: Support the Child & Family Foundation projects and make it possible: Education. Opportunities. Future.
Is it your wish to take the perfect photo of a shooting star?
Tips on how to take photos of a shooting star
Anyone who has ever tried to paint a picture of a bright, starry sky and to show it in it's full glory will understand what a challenge it is do the same with a photo. And it's even more difficult to get the right light for the photo when the shooting star is travelling at approximately 35 - 70km/s.
If you'd like to try it, don't expect to get it perfect on the first attempt. It takes a bit of practice. Ideally, you should start by taking photos of a normal night sky, and then move on from there.
Here are a few helpful tips to help you:
- Choose a suitable spot: this should be as dark as possible, with as little light from the surrounding area as possible.
- You must be able to turn your camera's manual flash off, and set the exposure time.
- A wide-angle lens is an advantage. Ideally, you should choose a fixed focal length.
- A tripod is a must.
- Get a remote trigger: the "remote control" for the camera ensures that the camera doesn't wobble or shake when you take the photo.
- Dress warm; the nights can be cold, even in summer. Don't forget to take a torch with you: Sometimes it's hard to operate the camera buttons in the dark.
- As shooting stars aren't very bright, it's hard to capture them in a photo. To make them stand out in the photo, you need to make the whole photo a bit "lighter". For the "light sensitivity", e.g. how much light you get on your camera's sensors, the ISO, aperture and exposure time are the important points to bear in mind. These will automatically make the surrounding area lighter - but be careful not to make the sky too light. The ISO, aperture and exposure can also influence each other. The motto here is: practice makes perfect. There is a general rule of thumb for the ISO and exposure: the higher the value, the lighter the photo.
- Eyes open, aperture open - that means: a low aperture value, because the lower the aperture value, the less light gets in, and vice versa.
- A high ISO value, preferably over 800. This reduces the exposure time, i.e. the amount of time it takes to record the photo to get the same amount of light. With ISO 400 it takes 5 minutes exposure time. With ISO 800, it only takes 2.5 minutes - however, a higher ISO value also creates more picture "noise".
- And then: A reeeally long exposure time, which can take up to a couple of minutes. The longer the camera shutter is open, the lighter the photo will be - however, if the camera wobbles or shakes during this time, the photo will be unclear.
- If your camera has a "noise reduction" feature, it may be helpful to use it. However, this is then active as long after taking the photo as the recording took - for example, with 15 minutes exposure time, it will then be 15 minutes before you can use your camera again.
Every purchase counts!
Between 17 July and 24 August, there's a good chance that you might catch a glimpse of a shooting star or two. The meteor shower will reach its peak on 12 August 2017.
So organise a camping chair, picnic blanket, coffee-to-go cup and your camera or book a trip far away from the light smog for next year. The best way would be via the Cashback World. As well as saving money when you shop, you can also help wishes come true:
Every purchase made via the Cashback World automatically supports a project from the Child & Family Foundation.
Register for free and become a Member now.
Fotocredits: Foto World at night: nasa.gov