RBA Premium Astrophotography

May 5th, 2013

Striking synchronicity (Yosemite Valley)

Posted: May 5th, 2013



Eta Aquarids meteor over Half Dome. Yosemite Valley, California 

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This image is a night view featuring the Milky Way and some of the mountains that surround Yosemite Valley, with the famous Half Dome landmark in the middle, and a "lucky" Eta Aquarids meteor right above it. It is confirmed the stroke is an Eta Aquarids meteor because it matches perfectly the radiant of this meteor shower. The Eta Aquarids meteors are "remains" from the also famous comet Halley.  Also, the Yosemite Falls -  the highest waterfall in North America - are easily visible on the left.

Also noteworthy is that the meteor's trajectory was "up" in the image, starting to display a green color as it ionizes, shifting to yellow, and ending up somewhat reddish.

The fortunate shooting star right above Half Dome surely makes the image memorable and likely unrepeatable.

The image is not a composite, although it is an 8 pane mosaic. The colors in the granite mountains all come from artificial lights: street lights, campers' lights, etc. That probably explains the interestingly different colors over each mountain wall. No Moonlight that night (not until 2 hours later). Also, a lightning storm had just passed moments earlier through the sierra.