« Blog Index

Archive for the ‘Meteors’ Category

Bright Early-Morning Meteor

Saturday, May 25th, 2013 10:00am EST

The MHW LiveCam photographed a very bright meteor (aka “shooting star”) over Charlotte early this morning at 4:19 am. See the streak very low in the bottom-right corner of the image. The much fainter streak just to the left is a reflection caused by the window that the camera peers through.

Click to enlarge

Geminid Meteor Shower

Friday, December 14th, 2012 9:44pm EST

Dr. Chris observed about 50 meteors over a one-hour period.  Most were faint ones like the photo above.  Observing conditions were ideal….clear skies and no Moon. The Geminids are the last big meteor shower of the year and usually put on a spectacular show.

Bright Meteor

Saturday, November 10th, 2012 2:15pm EST

Click for high-resolution image

The Live Sky Cam captured this very bright meteor streaking across the western sky very early this morning. Be sure to click on the image for a closer look.

A meteor, or colloquially shooting star or falling star, is the visible path of a meteoroid that enters the Earth’s atmosphere.  Meteoroids are typically pebble size pieces of debris that enter the atmosphere going approximately 18 miles per second.  They typically burn up in the mesosphere at an altitude of approximately 50 miles.


Our Little Piece of Halley’s Comet

Saturday, October 20th, 2012 4:31pm EST

A Piece of Halley’s Comet Rains Down on Charlotte
(Click for larger image)

Our Live Sky Cam managed to a snap a shot of an Orionid meteor streaking down on Charlotte. The Orionid meteors are debris left behind by Halley’s Comet.  The Earth passes through the comet’s orbit twice a year, although the comet itself only comes around every 75 years.

Actually seeing an Orionid in the Live Sky Cam was a pleasant surprise because the viewing angle was far from ideal. Our Live Sky Cam is pointed toward the west horizon which was about 90 degrees away from the constellation of Orion at 5am EDT when this image was recorded.  The Orionids radiate from the direction of the Orion constellation — hence their name.

Here’s a bright Perseid meteor we photographed in August.  A much more spectacular flash but not nearly as pedigreed as the Orionid.

Perseid Meteor!

Sunday, August 12th, 2012 8:00am EST

Captured this meteor flash early this morning at 3:06am during the annual Perseid meteor shower. The weather forecast was not good but our “robo-cam” took advantage of a break in the cloud cover.

Meteor flashes across the sky at 3:06 am EDT on August 12, 2012

Click on the image for the high-resolution version.