Miguel Claro is a professional photographer, author and science communicator based in Lisbon, Portugal, who creates spectacular images of the night sky. As a European Southern Observatory photo ambassador, a member of The World At Night and the official astrophotographer of the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, he specializes in astronomical skyscapes that connect Earth and the night sky. Join him here as he takes us through his photograph "Bright Meteor and Planet Jupiter Shining above a Small Lagoon."
In this cloudy, winter scene, a bright and fast meteor crosses the night sky near Arcturus, the brightest star in the constellation Boötes.
Sometimes, star trails can be seen streaking across the sky in nighttime photographs, and if you are a less-experienced observer, you may wonder if the trails were related to a satellite, plane or meteor.
While a satellite or a plane normally takes 2 or 3 minutes to cross the entire sky, a meteor (or "shooting star") will appear for less than a fraction of a second. This means that, in a sequence of four or five long-exposure shots over several seconds, the meteor will be spotted in only one of them, as you can see in the time-lapse video below. [How to See the Best Meteor Showers of 2018]
Although this meteor was fast and bright, it was not the brightest object in the night sky of this winter scene. Appearing as a bright "star" in the right edge of the image, Jupiter is shining very close to the blue star Spica.
Below, in a small lagoon at the rural Hotel Rural Hardade Naveterra in Alandroal, Portugal — located in the northern part of the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve — the greenish color of the sky is reflected in the calm water.
Editor's note: If you captured an amazing astronomy photo and would like to share it with Space.com for a story or gallery, send images and comments to managing editor Tariq Malik at email@example.com. You can see more amazing night-sky photos by our readers in our astrophotography archive here.
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