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 26, 1998
Explanation: The bold, bright star patterns of Orion (right) are a familiar sight to even casual skygazers. But this gorgeous colour photo also features a subtler spectacle - the faint stars of the Milky Way. A broad region of the Milky Way runs vertically through the picture with the striking red Rosette Nebula in bloom left of centre. Cutting across this dim, diffuse band of stars which lie along the plane of our Galaxy is a meteor streak. It seems to pass just under the red-orange giant star Betelgeuse at Orion's shoulder. Astrophotographer Jeff Medkeff recorded this and other beautiful time exposures from a dark sky countryside southeast of Sierra Vista, Arizona USA, during November's Leonid meteor shower.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.