Monday, November 16, 2015

Blazing fireball! An amazing astrophoto by Ivo Sheggia

Meteorite in fire!
Image Copyright Ivo Shaggia via APOD
Astrophotography is demanding business as everyone who has tried it knows. It requires excellent equipment, high technical skills and lots of experience. The ratio between failures and successes can be rather discouraging especially for the beginner. But occasionally true wonders happen to the patient photographer such as in this photo that was intended to show Orion Nebula but went wonderfully wrong. The lucky photo was taken by Ivo Sheggia in Swiss Alps.

Personally, I have never before seen pictures of such "flames". This must be a once in a lifetime photo, the kind of which cannot be planned nor prepared - it just happened like a winning ticket in lottery. The camera was pointing to the right direction and the shutter was open just in the right moment - not a minute too early nor a minute too late.

Click the link below to see this exquisite photo in all its glory and to learn details about it. There is written, among other things that
the persistent train's glow emanated from atoms in the Earth's atmosphere in the path of the meteor -- atoms that had an electron knocked away and emit light during reacquisition. Persistent trains often drift, so that the long 3-minute exposure actually captured the initial wind-blown displacement of these bright former ions.
Congratulations Ivo Shaggia, what a great photo!

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