meteor, meteor shower, Perseid, Pleiades, Cathedral Valley, Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Moon, Capitol Reef, Capitol Reef National Park, photo

Nightfall of Diamonds

Cathedral Valley, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

This composite was made from many 25-s frames over several hours during the Perseid meteor shower of 2016.  After choosing the photos that contained meteors, I then chose a reference photo featuring the Pleiades, that bright, question-mark-shaped constellation toward the right side of the frame, and I rotated subsequent frames relative to a point corresponding to Polaris, which renders accurately each meteor's trajectory with respect to the stars and not my own vantage point on the earth's surface. After these rotations, it's easy to see how the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, just up and to the left of the Pleiades.  The light on Temple of the Sun (left) and Temple of the Moon (right) is from the setting moon. Photo © copyright by Greg Owens.

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