Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Screw CGI, no. 5: A flash from above

Perseid Below
Credit: Ron Garan, ISS Expedition 28 Crew, NASA
This remarkable view captured by astronaut Ron Garan looks down on a Perseid meteor. From Garan's perspective onboard the International Space Station orbiting at an altitude of about 380 kilometers, the Perseid meteors streak below, swept up dust left from comet Swift-Tuttle heated to incandescence. The glowing comet dust grains are traveling at about 60 kilometers per second through the denser atmosphere around 100 kilometers above Earth's surface. In this case, the foreshortened meteor flash is right of frame center, below the curving limb of the Earth and a layer of greenish airglow.

A larger version (4256 x 2832, resolution 240) with more info is at APOD.

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