shooting stars from earth


Here’s one I haven’t seen before. Perseid meteors viewed from above, from the International Space Station, 2 in about 2 seconds from the high resolution downlooking camera.

can you feel it coming back?

or, the one where Clarke comes home (if not in the way he imagined) 

In the aftermath, he never really understood when or how it had happened. Perhaps it was in that forest, her hair the color of gold and the sun streaming through the leaves, a dying boy at his feet and his heart in his throat. Perhaps it was when the shooting star that wasn’t fell to the earth like some unholy gift from the heavens, and she had collapsed into him with a sob stealing her breath and her hands clutching at his shirt. But maybe it was later, too; maybe it was her arms locked around his neck and the feel of her soft body beneath him, her hair the only part of her visible to him - all that golden hair, the color of sunlight and brightness and joy. Or maybe it was fate: that from that first moment when she declared he couldn’t open the door and he blatantly disregarded her, mostly out of spite, he was meant to be irrevocably doomed to her clutching his heart between her small palms. 

(It was all of the above, his heart laughed at him, but Bellamy was pointedly ignoring that.) 

(And she was gone, his brain reminded him, and he was ignoring that, too, and the pain that radiated from his sternum.)

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Here is a photo of a meteor as it passed through our atmosphere, taken from the vantage point of the International Space Station. This image was taken on August 13th 2011, during the Perseid Meteor Shower, while the station was about 400km northwest of Beijing.

So, what are Meteoroids and Meteorites?

Meteoroids are relatively small objects that are moving throughout the solar system which are attracted toward Earth by its gravitational pull. These small fragments are usually fragments of asteroids or comets. When they enter our atmosphere they begin to burn up as they collide with air molecules; this is why a bright vapour trail or streak can be seen- at this point the object is known as a meteor, or often a “shooting star”. If any piece of the object survives the journey through the atmosphere and impacts Earth’s surface (as what happened in Russia); we call it a meteorite.


PS: Also visible in this photo is green and yellow air glow. This phenomenon appears at levels above 50km in the atmosphere- here atoms and molecules are excited by sunlight during the day and then release the energy at night.

Image courtesy of NASA’s Earth Observatory.


Astronaut Alexander Gerst’s first time-lapse video from the space station includes a shooting star