Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

221,374 subscribers and counting ...

Meteor shower at 40,000 feet

Another good reason to grab that window seat! Colin Legg captured this great photo of a meteor shower, seen from an airplane window.

View larger. | Alpha Centaurid Meteor Shower @ 40,000 ft by Colin Legg Photography

View larger. | Alpha Centaurid Meteor Shower @ 40,000 ft by Colin Legg Photography

Leave it to Colin Legg – one of the most amazing sky photographers we know – to catch a meteor shower from the window seat of an airplane. Colin wrote to EarthSky:

Valentines day (night), red eye flight back to Perth.

I had another go at night shots out the plane window … this time under very dark no moon conditions. Most of the flight was bumpy due to cold fronts, but things calmed down once we crossed the Western Australia coastline. I fired off a 20-minute burst of 1-second exposures, shielding the camera from cabin lights under a black hood.

Amazingly, the Alpha Centaurid meteor shower was also active!

Apologies for the excessive noise. Due to plane motion and minor turbulence, I couldn’t expose for much longer than 1 second and keep the stars sharp. Notwithstanding, it is quite amazing that modern day cameras can capture so much detail in 1 second on a no moon night.

Western Australia, ~40,000 ft, 10:50 -> 11:10 pm WST, Feb 14 2015

4 x 1 sec stack @ iso 25600, f/1.4, 35 mm

It’s amazing, Colin! Thank you.

Enjoying EarthSky so far? Sign up for our free daily newsletter today!

Bottom line: On Valentines Day night, 2015, Colin Legg caught the Alpha Centaurid meteor shower from the window seat of an airplane.

Deborah Byrd

MORE ARTICLES