Image of the Day: Breathtaking meteor upstaged by Milky Way and northern lights

Did you miss the Orionid meteor shower last weekend?

For shame! Here's an awesome shot from photographer Tommy Eliassen — yep, that's an Orionid meteor set against incredible views of northern lights and the Milky Way. Eliassen caught the peak of the action from Korgfjellet, Hemnes, Norway, on Oct. 20, 2012.

Here's a bit more about the Orionids from EarthSky.org:

"The waxing crescent moon sets before midnight on October 20, and that means a dark sky between midnight and dawn, or during the best viewing hours for the 2012 Orionid meteors. On a dark, moonless night, the Orionids exhibit a maximum of about 25 meteors per hour. These fast-moving meteors occasionally leave persistent trains and bright fireballs. If you trace these meteors backward, they seem to come from the Club of the famous constellation Orion the Hunter. You might know Orion's bright, ruddy star Betelgeuse. The radiant is north of Betelgeuse. The Orionids have a broad and irregular peak that isn't easy to predict. More meteors tend to fly after midnight, and the Orionids are typically at their best in the wee hours before dawn."

And here's that picture again, which you can click to enlarge:

orionoid2.jpg

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