Here’s an amaaazing view of a fireball (brighter-than-usual meteor) captured while the photographer Alvin Wu viewed the Geminids meteor shower a few days ago over Mt. Balang, China. That’s why I always let people know of meteor showers, you have a chance to spot so many ‘shooting stars’ including those really jaw-dropping like this one.
Blasting skyward an Atlas V rocket carrying a U.S. Navy satellite pierces a cloud bank in this starry night scene captured on January 20. On its way to orbit from Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, planet Earth, the rocket streaks past brightest star Sirius, as seen from a dark beach at Canaveral National Seashore. Above the alpha star of Canis Major, Orion the Hunter strikes a pose familiar to northern winter skygazers. Above Orion is the V-shaped Hyades star cluster, head of Taurus the Bull, and farther still above Taurus it’s easy to spot the compact Pleiades star cluster. Of course near the top of the frame you’ll find the greenish coma and long tail of Comet Lovejoy, astronomical darling of these January nights.
Since I let you know about the best meteor showers and other celestial events at least a couple times every year, I thought I should point out some general tips which make stargazing better:
Give your eyes 20 minutes to adjust to the dark. Avoid looking at the moon, your phone or any device that shows light – any exposure to bright lights will instantly ruin your eye’s acclimatization to the dark
If possible go outside the city, or search for good local stargazing places
For the best chances of spotting a shooting star, scan the whole sky repeatedly
Be prepared to spend a few hours sitting outside. Meteor showers can be seen as soon as it gets dark, but better viewing begins about 11 pm
If you have binoculars or a telescope, take them with you. While you’re there, you can also look for constellations, stars, and planets
Here’s a close-up of Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) which appears as a greenish dot in the night sky and can be seen with binoculars & telescopes during much of January! The image was captured last week (12th Jan) from Mauna Kea, Hawaii by Roger N. Clark who shares all the details of technical background on his page and even teaches how to take pictures like this one. if you want to find the comet yourself, this will help you