Encore - Manitoba Aurora and Meteor

June 01, 2019

Grassy Narrows Marsh Manitoba -  August 28 2013 - Federico Buchbinder (2)

Today and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

Photographer: Federico Buchbinder
Summary Authors: Federico Buchbinder; Jim Foster

September 2013 Viewer's Choice The photo above showing pale green northern lights pierced by a brilliant meteor was captured at the Grassy Narrows Marsh of Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park in Manitoba, Canada on the night of August 28, 2013. The northern lights (auroras) and meteors (shooting stars) are observed at somewhat similar altitudes; about 50-150 miles (80-240 km) and 35-70 miles (55-115 km) above the Earth’s surface, respectively. Auroras glow when the solar wind’s energized particles collide with atoms and molecules in the Earth's upper atmosphere. Shooting stars, however, owe their visibility primarily to ram pressure -- the heating of the shock wave generated by compression of air ahead of meteoroids the size of sand or pebbles entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Photo Details: Camera: NIKON D700; Lens: AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED; Focal Length: 24mm (35mm equivalent: 24mm); Aperture: f/2.8; Exposure Time: 30.000 s; ISO equiv: 800. No processing done with this photo except RAW-to-jpeg conversion. Exact time of photo was 1:38:40 a.m. Central Time Zone (CT).