Perseid, Perseid shower, Bisti, Bisti/De-Na-Zin, Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, meteor, meteor shower, Pleides, Andromeda, stars, Polaris, Perseus, photo

Perseid Shower at Bisti

Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico, 2015

I made this composite from 25 frames taken during a 129-minute period at the height of the Perseid meteor shower.  Since I wanted to show the stars as static rather than as trails, each individual photo was only 25 s, and the vast majority of the photos made in just over two hours had no meteors.  After choosing the photos that contained meteors, I then chose a reference photo featuring the Pleiades (near center) and the Andromeda galaxy (top center), 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 bizarre rock formations add to the scene's surreality. Photo © copyright by Greg Owens.

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