Aurora and Meteor Streak

September 29, 2011

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Photographer: Philippe Moussette
Summary Author: Philippe Moussette; Jim Foster

The photo above shows the northern lights as viewed from near St-Agapit, Quebec just before dawn on August 6, 2011. I had my telescope set up (in the foreground) do observe deep sky targets and noticed this pale green aurora hanging low in the northern sky. When energized particles (solar wind) colide with oxygen atoms in the Earth's upper atmosphere (approximately 50 mi or 80 km above the surface) -- green light is emitted. The faint meteor streak at far right is likely associated with the Perseid Meteor Shower, which peaks from about August 10-13.

Photo details: Canon 1D mark III camera; ISO 1600; 10 second exposure.