Astronomy Picture of the Day

Aurigids from 47,000 Feet

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#103173 by @ 06.09.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Aurigids from 47,000 Feet


On September 1,
filled the sky, in keeping
with an innovative prediction of an outburst
from this historically tentative meteor shower.

The prediction
was made by Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute, in
work with Esko Lyytinen of Finland and Jeremie Vaubaillon of Caltech.

Astronomers flying at 47,000 feet on a
dedicated mission
to observe the outburst collected image data for this composite
photo of the Aurigids' bright and colorful streaks.

The source of the shower is understood to be
Comet Kiess, a comet that would have swung
through the inner solar system around 2,000
, and again in 1911.

Pushed outward by solar radiation pressure,
dust from
the tail
of the comet
has been drifting toward the Earth's orbit,
creating the 2007 outburst as well
as outbursts of the Aurigids recorded in 1935, 1986, and 1994.

Of course, the shower's radiant
point is in the eponymous constellation
the Charioteer

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