Star Trails and Meteor Above Central Chile

September 11, 2008


Provided by: Jean Francois Coliac
Summary Author and Editor: Jean Francois Coliac, Jim Foster

The photo above shows a time exposure of stars moving from east to west across the nighttime sky over central Chile, near La Silla Paranal Observatory seen here silhouetted on the horizon. The red star to the upper left is Arcturus. It seems that a Perseid meteor appeared to be streaking out of the constellation Perseus as the picture was being snapped. When observing long-term exposures of the sky such as this, it can easily be presumed that the celestial sphere is rotating -- of course; it’s the Earth that’s actually rotating. Several hours of observing were required to capture this photo.

Photo details: Olympus C730 camera and a 28mm focal length, taken in July 2003.