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Observing and Photographing Meteors

12 Aug 2019, 10:24 UTC
Observing and Photographing Meteors
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On just about any evening under a dark sky, you’re likely to see a meteor or two streaks across the starscape. They catch you by surprise, serving as a reminder that space is not static - things are moving out there, and fast. With the annual Perseid meteor show upon us, Orion Telescopes and Binoculars provides the following guide on how to successfully observe and photograph meteors. What Are Meteors? Often called "shooting stars," meteors are really particles from outer space - fragments of comets and asteroids - that burn up from friction as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. While still in space, the particles are called meteoroids. A very bright meteor is about the size of a grape; typical meteors are more the size of tiny pebbles or grains of sand. A very large meteor may break up as it penetrates the atmosphere, throwing off sparks. Occasionally, a meteor may even make noise as it shoots through the air, though this is rare. The largest meteors do not completely incinerate and actually land on Earth as rocks, called meteorites. A fireball is a very bright meteor loosely defined as being brighter than the planet Venus, whose maximum magnitude is ...

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