active, this year's Leonid meteor shower was
diminished by bright moonlight.
Still, faithful night
sky watchers did
see the shower peak on
November 18 and
even the glare of moonlight didn't come close to masking this brilliant
The colorful meteor trail and final flare was captured
early that morning in western skies over the
Canary Island Observatorio
Particles of dust swept up when planet Earth passes near the
orbit of periodic comet Tempel-Tuttle,
typically enter the atmosphere at nearly 70 kilometers
Looking away from the Moon, the wide angle camera lens
also recorded bright stars in the
familiar constellations Orion and Taurus
near picture center.
Inset are two exposures of this fireball's
The consecutive train images follow the meteor's flash by several minutes as
high altitude winds disperse the faint, smokey trail.
The two large telescope buildings are the
GREGOR telescope with reddish
dome and the Vacuum Tower Telescope along the right edge of the frame,
both sun watching telescopes.