Can you figure out what’s wrong with this picture?

Answer: it was taken at 1 in the morning by moonlight. Isn’t that amazing? You’d think it was taken at sunrise.

And what was I doing snapping pictures at 1 in the morning? I was meteor watching, something I’ve never done before. Perseids, to be precise. To my surprise,¹ I saw several meteors, including a couple of very nice ones. However, my goal was to get a picture of meteors, and I failed miserably at that. Also, I had bad luck. I initially adjusted my camera settings for a long shutter speed, and several meteors streaked across the sky during this session. However, none of them showed up in the images.

So then I re-adjusted my settings to be more meteor-friendly (I think), and naturally there were no meteors. Finally, as I went back to my car, a really nice meteor streaked by, and this got me all excited again. So I took a bunch more pictures. But no meteors.

Hmmph. The good news is that I learned what I think I need to do. Maybe I’ll go out again tonight. The moon is coming up later, and if I go out an hour earlier I should have a pretty dark sky to work with. I also think I can get my camera to take pictures automatically with no manual intervention from me. Gotta check out the instruction manual about that.

Anyway, if I give it another try and have any success, you’ll be the first to know.

¹Why was I surprised? I guess because I’m a city boy and I’ve never seen a meteor before. Deep inside, I’m not sure I believed they’d really show up until I saw one myself.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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