Smokin’ Meteor!

This is a classic fireball from the Orionids shower. It was captured 1:34 AM on the morning of October 20th. Meteor showers are named for the constellation (in this case Orion) from which meteors seem to come from. They are actually coming from the direction of Earth’s orbit around the sun so they get named for which ever constellation happens to be in the leading edge of our orbit. Meteors are caused by tiny grains of ice and rock left behind a passing comet (Halleys for the Orionids). Usually they appear as a quick streak of light but occasionally a large object the size of a pebble will explode at the end of its passage through the upper atmosphere like this one did. 

Fall and winter are good times to see meteors with their longer nights and clearer skies. Next up will be the Leonids which will peak on the morning of November 19th. Check out this link for details on upcoming showers.

The clip was captured by the all sky camera in the observatory. Unfortunately the lens was bumped and out of focus. It’s only about 10 frames long so when the video opens you can start and stop it with the normal video controls.

The camera posts a movie on the Dogstar website every morning:


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