Sky Gem

By: Yuichi Takasaka


Region: Americas

Site: Banff National Park - Canada

Date: 2011 January 3

As seen on the National Geographic News taken with a fisheye lens this all-sky photo turns the night sky over the World Heritage site of Banff National Park in Canada, into a gemstone streaked with light from a bright Quadrantid meteor (a fireball) on the evening of January 3. Like other meteor showers, the Quadrantids get their name from the constellation from which the meteors appear to radiate. But this shower's namesake pattern of stars isn't found in any map of the heavens today. Dubbed Quadrans Muralis in the 19th century, the constellation was abandoned in 1922 due to overcrowding in star charts. The stars in Quadrans Muralis were absorbed by the neighboring constellation Bootes. Yuichi Takasaka/

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