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Delphinid Meteor Mystery (photo composite)

By: Yuri Beletsky

 

Region: Americas

Site: Las Campanas - Chile

Date: 2013 June 11

As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day, over five hours of several exposures captured this photo-composite of meteor streaks and the Milky Way in dark skies above Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. During that time, astronomers had hoped to see an outburst from the gamma Delphinid meteor shower as Earth swept through the dust trail left by an unknown comet. Named for the shower's radiant point in the constellation Delphinus, a brief but strong outburst was reported in bright, moonlit skies on June 10, 1930. While no strong Delphinid meteor activity was reported since, an outburst was tentatively predicted to occur again in 2013. But the overall rate of meteors in this field is low, and only the three lower meteor streaks seem to point back to the shower's estimated radiant. Yuri Beletsky

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