Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

November 25, 1998
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A Leonid Bolide Over Kansas
Credit & Copyright: V. Winter & J. Dudley, ICSTARS Astronomy

Explanation: The 1998 Leonid Meteor Shower featured many bright events. Extremely bright meteors, known as bolides or fireballs, can briefly glow brighter than the full moon. Pictured above is a Leonid bolide caught during a five-minute, wide-angle exposure. The bolide was so bright it lit up the surrounding area, making otherwise dark trees visible. Also visible are at least three other meteors, numerous bright stars, and the constellation Orion. This meteor shower is called the Leonids because most of the meteors move out from the constellation Leo. At this location near the Powell Observatory in Kansas, over 200 meteors per hour were reported.

Tomorrow's picture: Meteor Sky

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