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.
Bottom line: On Valentines Day night, 2015, Colin Legg caught the Alpha Centaurid meteor shower from the window seat of an airplane.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.