Veteran meteor observer Eliot Herman has contributed many wonderful photos to EarthSky! Here’s one that didn’t come out as he’d planned, though. It’s an owl (“looks like a horned owl from the stripes,” he commented) perched on his automatic, all-sky camera. He wrote:
Meteor photography is really difficult if all that is visible is the rear end of an owl who decided to perch on the camera at midnight. The owl remained for about 5 minutes. The bright moon is enough of a problem to get good imagery but this really adds insult.
The twin stars of Gemini are visible between the toes on the lower left.
Fortunately, Eliot said, it looks as if the owl’s claws didn’t damage the lens, and it didn’t tip the camera.
Thank you, Eliot!
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded 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.