ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Image of a bright meteor, also known as a fireball, which made useless this plate taken with the United Kingdom Schmidt Telescope. The fireball has bisected the bright spiral galaxy (NGC 253) at top right and it appears to have exploded in a terminal flare at the bottom of the plate. The flare was probably as bright as the full Moon. Meteors are caused by dust grains which enter Earth's atmosphere. The air resistance incandesces the particles making them visible as streaks of light. This image was taken on September 9th 1991.
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