RBA & AF Astrophotography

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.



Ed Smith (Contact, Page), May 13th, 2013, 9:24
Awesome work! I am extremely curious about what combination of aperture size, detector and exposure time captured enough photons for that much detail of the Milky Way, yet did not blur the clouds? ~1s? given the length of the meteor trail.

RBA (Contact, Page), May 13th, 2013, 10:38
Ed, they're 20 seconds exposures. Of course, the meteor only needs a fraction of that within that timeframe to show up. It's a 20mm prime lens at f/2.5, on a Canon 5D Mark II. No need to worry about blurry clouds or star trails with that exposure time and focal length.

Luz (Contact, Page), May 15th, 2013, 5:36
Estoy alucinando con tus fotos. Ya me gustaría aprender, ahora que tengo una canon 650....
Gracias por estos momentos mágicos.

Jim Austin-Olathe, KS (Contact, Page), September 26th, 2013, 0:44
Thank you very much for the beautiful pictures. I find that I want each one to have just to look at.
Thanks for all the effort I know you must put in to each one.
Jim Austin

Tom O'Donoghue (Contact, Page), September 30th, 2013, 11:08
Lovely pic Rogelio. What s/w did you use to stitch the 8 panes? Did you have distortion between the frames at 20mm?

Ria (Contact, Page), January 2nd, 2014, 21:33
Your pictures truly express the beauty of nature. They are like a way of showing where heaven and earth meet. It is truly remarkable. :-)

Dave (Contact, Page), May 2nd, 2014, 5:42
This is an amazing photo - found it today as it was featured on APOD.

Do you have a hi-res version that I might be able to use as a desktop wallpaper? Something that is at least 3840 x 1080 would be amazing!

Sally (Contact, Page), May 3rd, 2014, 0:21
Congratulations on this beautiful image - well deserved entry on APOD! I've set this as my wallpaper to be inspired every day.

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