Picture of the Day: What a Shooting Star Looks Like From Space

More

PERSEID-RON-GARAN-METEOR.jpg

Four months into a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as a member of Expedition 27, astronaut Ron Garan, Jr., has been tweeting incredible photos from space. Over the weekend, Garan sent out the image embedded above, which has been making waves in the science blogging community. You can see why: It's incredible. Simple.

Garan's photograph is of a shooting star. He captured it during the Perseid meteor shower. At the time the photo was taken, according to Discover magazine's Phil Plait, the ISS was about 220 miles above the border that China shares with Mongolia. "Wow!" Plait added. "How cool would it be to look down to see a falling star." While Plait points out that this could be an isolated shooting star, it's probable that the object captured by Garan is part of the Perseid meteor shower. "For an observer on Earth, the Perseids rain down at a rate of about 60 per hour or so," according to Plait. "You can usually see about 5 meteors per hour that are just random bits of cosmic detritus. So only 1 meteor in 12 is not a real Perseid, making it likely this one was."

View more Pictures of the Day.

Image: NASA.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Technicolor Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In