Catching a Meteor
A couple nights ago I let the dog outside and noticed a stunning thunderstorm lighting up the sky just north of our house. It was the kind of storm where none of the lightning actually hits the ground - it's all contained within the storm cell. So I grabbed my camera and tripod and set up shop in my backyard. The lightning was so abundant and frequent that I kept pushing the shutter button, crossing my fingers that I would get that one epic shot.
As the thunderstorm rolled away and got smaller in the distance, I decided to call it a night. I set my camera in front of my computer and went to bed.
The next morning, when I looked at the photos, I noticed quite a few of airplanes streaking through my frames. Since we live close to Denver International Airport, this was normal, and actually made for some cool shots. To be honest I was extremely jealous of the people on the plane! They got a front row seat to the best light show I've seen in a long time!
As I continued to glance over the photos, something bright caught my eye. I stared at it, trying to analyze it, and realized that it wasn't an airplane... it was a meteor!! All the airplanes in my shots had been streaking from the bottom right corner to the top left corner. This streak was going directly across the top of the frame in the opposite direction. The streak pattern was also different. All the airplane streaks had a definitive start and finish, with intermittent light flashes from the wing lights. This streak was big and bright at the front and tapered off to nothing at the end, and when I bumped up the exposure, I could see a second streak very faintly next to the main meteor. My mind was blown! I checked the two photos before and after this one and I also caught the meteor entering the atmosphere (barely glowing) and as it fizzled out. In the image it looks like the meteor is traveling up, but when I clicked through all three images, it is actually traveling horizontally towards me and to the right. Below are the images!
Below are the three meteor shots in a row - keep in mind they are extremely over exposed to show the meteor streaks!
Isn't that awesome!? I also got a bunch of other shots of the lighting storm. Two of my favorites are below!
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