View Full Version : Brilliant green meteor lights up India's Sky Islands (pic of awe inside)

01-24-2017, 08:59 PM


IT IS REALLY hard to photograph a meteor. Even though some 25 million of them hurtle toward Earth each day, most of them are too small to track. Those you can see are tough to spot during the day, and most people are sleeping when they streak across the sky at night. But Prasenjeet Yadav managed to get one anyway, entirely by accident.

Yadav was asleep when this bright green meteor exploded over Mettupalayam, a small town in the mountainous Western Ghats region of southern India. But the time-lapse rig he’d set up on a nearby hilltop captured this beautiful image.

He didn’t set out to be a photographer. He was born in Nagpur, roughly 35 miles from the setting for Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, and tigers and leopards routinely wandered through his yard. He studied big cats as a molecular biologist, but had the sense that most people didn’t read, let alone understand, academic papers. If people are to understand science, he thought, they have to see it. And so he became a photographer.

Yadav won a National Geographic Young Explorers grant to document “sky islands,” the isolated mountain peaks that rise above the clouds along a 400-mile swath of the Western Ghats. He wanted a nighttime shot of Mettupalayam to show the area’s urbanization. In the wee hours of October 9, 2015, Yadav drove into the mountains, set up his Nikon D600, and programmed it to take 15 second exposures every 10 seconds until 4:30 am. Then he made camp and dozed until dawn.

The next day, he reviewed the thousand or so images on his camera and spotted a brilliant flash of emerald light. At first he thought it was a fluke, but several astronomers confirmed that it was a meteor. It’s a perfect shot. “I was there, and that’s what photography is all about—being there in the right place at the right time,” Yadav says. That, and a bit of luck.

Pic looks like something out of a movie or videogame.

I can't believe it's real. Sci-fi fans get in here. Is it Kryptonite?

01-24-2017, 09:09 PM
:teek: Woah. Wonder what it's made of to burn green like that. (edit: Google suggesting nickel or copper.)

01-24-2017, 09:21 PM
I'm gonna dumb guess and say that the 'light show' was caused by pollutants in our atmosphere. I mean, a super hot space rock burning through all of the airborne crud in our air as our planet's gravity pulled the meteor to the ground, might have contributed to that green-ish aura in the sky.

As I mentioned above, it's a dumb guess.

01-24-2017, 09:30 PM
Ah, chemistry.

This is isn't the first time we've seen green meteors before - though we didn't get as nice an image this time. But yeah, it is nickel or copper burning in the atmosphere.

01-25-2017, 12:16 PM
That's gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. :tlove::tlove::tlove:

01-25-2017, 08:45 PM
Wow. THAT is an amazing photo. Magnificent! And I might add that even if the meteor wasn't in it that is a truly stunning view of the area- and the cloud formations are beautiful too!

Edit- just noticed the bright little light in the sky in the middle. Looks like a planet; I wonder which one?

01-26-2017, 04:53 PM
Beautiful. :D

Nice to see a thread in the Current Events forum that isn't another "RIP" thread. That doesn't happen very often.

02-06-2017, 03:58 PM
Not anywhere near as nice of an image (or video rather), but another green one in Illinois. Maybe a bit of space rock related to the one in India?


How common are green ones? I didn't even know they could be that color until the Indian one.

02-06-2017, 08:04 PM
Lol maybe Cubed was (gasp!) right! Maybe they ARE Kryptonite. Okay it was a fun thought anyway. Anyone hear of any odd UFO's seen near one? Could be Supes finally made it to Earth....

02-07-2017, 05:53 AM
Yea but if Kal-El is still just a baby, then he won't actually grow up to be the Man of Steel until most of us here are old timers.