Location of photo
Date/Time of photo
December 20, 2014 1:30AM
Canon 5D Mark III Zeiss 21mm f2.8 lens
I took this shot of a fireball meteor while out hunting the Aurora Borealis on December 20, 2014 at 1:30AM. The shot was taken from Johnson Lake in Banff National Park, Canada. A late Geminid meteor perhaps?

9 thoughts on “Fireball!

    1. BAbernethy Post author


      I was thinking the same until I considered how many late nights and how much research I have put into this art/hobby. This was taken at 1:30AM when most are asleep. lol!

    1. BAbernethy Post author

      Iridium Flares have a few notable differences. In this case factors such as the speed, magnitude of light and fragmentation definitely come into play. This fireball went across the sky very quicky – in a matter of a second or less – compared to iridium flares which are slower than the slowest meteor. An iridium flare at best is as bright as 1/4 of the moon – this was extremely bright – it lit up the entire area. In fact when you manage to photograph an iridium flare you are often surprised that you caught one(I have never seen one with the naked eye – only on camera). And the fireball broke up into at least 3 fragments before fading away – also not characteristic of iridium flares. Also, the size of the object relative to the mountain for example is much bigger than what you would see from an iridium flare. For comparison google “iridium flare images” and find a shot that has a subject in the horizon with an iridium flare. You will see that iridium flares are small gashes of reflected light relative to what we see here.

      More than you wanted to know?



      1. Rusty MooreRusty-Moore

        Plus, the light curve of an Iridium flare is smooth, while this shows irregularity in the brightness as the object moved through the sky, which is what you get when meteors fragment.

  1. TomG

    Stunning photograph – especially the illumination of the clouds. Very unlikely to be a Geminid, however, as the track isn’t right; this fireball appears to originate from Taurus area rather than Castor / Pollux, the starts adjacent to the Geminid radiant much further east.

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