Perseid Fireball

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August 12, 1997

Photo by Rick Scott and Joe Orman.

The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most dependable; if the conditions are right (clear weather, no moon, and far from city lights), one can expect to see a meteor every minute or two. The mild summer nights usually make observing the shower a comfortable outing. In the early morning hours the radiant rides high in the northern sky, near a particularly rich area of the Milky Way.

This meteor from the 1997 shower blazed across 20 degrees of the sky, beginning right next to the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and ending in the Great Square of Pegasus. The wide-angle view also captured several other deep-sky objects, a dimmer meteor, the Planet Saturn ... and (faintly) the asteroid Vesta!

This photograph appeared on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day site on August 10, 2001. That site also has links to larger-size labeled and unlabeled versions.

This photograph was also published in the book Connecting the the Cosmos by Donald Goldsmith (Sourcebooks, Inc.), and Comets by Gregory L. Vogt (Capstone Press).

Date: August 12, 1997
Time: 1:20am MST
Location: Florence Junction, Arizona
Film: Kodak Ektachrome P1600
Camera: Olympus OM-3 on homemade tracking mount
Focal length: 21mm
Aperture: f/2
Exposure time: 8 minutes
Scanned by Rick Scott using Nikon Coolscan LS-2000
Image processed using Adobe Photoshop

Publishers! A high-resolution version of this image is immediately available. For details click here.

Revised: February 14, 2012
Copyright © 2001-2012 Joe Orman
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