Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Geminid Meteors over Chile
Posted on 12/23/2013 4:00:30 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: From a radiant point in the constellation of the Twins, the annual Geminid meteor shower rained down on planet Earth over the past few weeks. Recorded near the shower's peak over the night of December 13 and 14, the above skyscape captures Gemini's shooting stars in a four-hour composite from the dark skies of the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. In the foreground the 2.5-meter du Pont Telescope is visible as well as the 1-meter SWOPE telescope. The skies beyond the meteors are highlighted by Jupiter, seen as the bright spot near the image center, the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy, seen vertically on the image left, and the pinkish Orion Nebula on the far left. Dust swept up from the orbit of active asteroid 3200 Phaethon, Gemini's meteors enter the atmosphere traveling at about 22 kilometers per second.
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[Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution)]
Thanks for posting these fascinating and educational threads, SC!
Sorry to hear of the passing of another FReeper. She’s now getting a much better look at the subjects of your pictures than we are.
It would be interesting to learn how the composite photo was created. There are no star trails visible and it appears that the meteor trails were added to the sunset photo. But how do you extract a meteor flash from subsequent photos and add it to the original? All the background star positions would have changed over the four hours, so you would have to isolate the meteor trails without any background sky.
The telescope tracked the stars, the streaks were transient and got painted on over the four hours.