Spiral Meteor through Heart Nebula

By Cameron Meyer

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What is happening here?

This is a picture of the Heart Nebula. The green streak that is shooting through it is a grain of sand sized rock that is spinning as it ablates, which causes the path to be slightly spiral shaped. The Heart Nebula was photographed with 18 one minute exposures. Out of all 18 pictures, only one caught the unusual meteor streak. This meteor looks like it is traveling through the Heart Nebula, but really it is in Earth's Atmosphere. This meteor is likely from the Perseid meteor shower. The Perseus radiant is toward the upper right of the picture, that is where the meteor is traveling from.


Ablate- to remove or dissipate by melting, vaporization, erosion, etc.

Perseus- Perseus would be the constellation in the sky where the Perseid meteors fall in the sky.

Radiant- The region of the sky where a constellation coincides with