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Brilliant Capricornid Meteor Streaks Through The Sky
Traveling At 54,000 Miles Per Hour

4 August, 2013

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MessageToEagle.com - The Capricornid meteor shower has been known from visual observations since the 19th century.

However, only radar and photographic observations have delivered a more comprehensive picture of the shower.

This meteor shower produces brught, slow meteors and its zenithal hourly rate is estimated at six to 14 meteors.

For the first time, the Capricornid meteor shower was most probably observed in 1871 and radar observation of these celestial fireworks were conducted since 1960.



Based on processed observations conducted by astronomers in Australia, the shower has three maxima: the first on July 22, the second on July 28, and the third on August 5.


Celestial fireworks


A Brilliant Capricornid Meteor


The video segment below was recorded on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:17 a.m. EDT by a NASA meteor camera at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

The video catches a flash of lightning that illuminates the sky to the southwest. Then, seconds later, a brilliant Capricornid meteor streaks through a clear patch of sky, traveling at 54,000 miles per hour.

Far higher than the lightning, the meteor was first seen 53 miles above Toney, Ala., and moved north by northwest before burning up in a flash of light 47 miles above Taft, Tenn.

Part of the meteor's fiery trail was captured by a higher resolution camera system, also located at Marshall Space Flight Center, seen in the movie below.

The meteor was also seen in a NASA camera located near Tullahoma, Tenn. Combining the data from all three systems enabled the meteor's path and speed to be determined.


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