APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

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APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:06 am

Image Lighthouse and Meteor

Explanation: Named for a forgotten constellation, the Quadrantid Meteor Shower is an annual event for planet Earth's northern hemisphere skygazers. It usually peaks briefly in the cold, early morning hours of January 4. The shower's radiant point on the sky lies within the old, astronomically obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis. That position is situated near the boundaries of the modern constellations Hercules, Bootes, and Draco. Many of this year's Quadrantid meteors were dim, but the one captured in this north-looking view is bright and easy to spot. In the foreground is the Maurice River's East Point Lighthouse located near the southern tip of New Jersey on the US east coast. The likely source of the dust stream that produces Quadrantid meteors was identified in 2003 as an asteroid.

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:16 am

APOD Robot wrote:Named for a forgotten constellation...
Gone, but not forgotten...
The likely source of the dust stream that produces Quadrantid meteors was identified in 2003 as an asteroid.
But not a typical asteroid. Most likely, the parent body is what's left of a comet that has lost all its volatiles. The only other shower connected to an asteroid is the Geminids, and its parent is probably also a cometary remnant.

These showers will not last long, since their parent bodies are no longer producing debris. All the rest of the active showers are associated with bodies which still shed material near perihelion, regularly replenishing their debris streams.
Chris

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Joe Stieber
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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by Joe Stieber » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:32 am

A fine view of a scenic location! The East Point Lighthouse is one of my favorite spots. It's at the mouth of the Maurice River in Southern New Jersey overlooking the Delaware Bay. I've seen Omega Centauri from there when it transits at little more than 3 degrees altitude. The beacon, which is just token illumination for this retired lighthouse, is a blinking red lamp. Apparently, the relatively long exposure has washed out the color. Above right of the beacon (just right of the meteor streak) is the Keystone of Hercules; just to the left of the beacon is the trapezoidal head of Draco. Polaris and the Little Dipper are in the upper-left corner (click the image for a full-size view to better see them).

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by Ann » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:56 am

Above right of the beacon (just right of the meteor streak) is the Keystone of Hercules; just to the left of the beacon is the trapezoidal head of Draco. Polaris and the Little Dipper are in the upper-left corner (click the image for a full-size view to better see them).
Thanks, Joe, I found the Keystone of Hercules and the head of Draco thanks to you. But I have to admit that I can't identify any part of Ursa Minor at all. Can we really see Polaris is this image?

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by Joe Stieber » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:45 am

Ann wrote:... But I have to admit that I can't identify any part of Ursa Minor at all. Can we really see Polaris is this image? Ann
Yes, it's near the left edge, the first bright star not far from the top, but to see all of the Little Dipper (and get a better context for Polaris), you need to click on the image to see the full-size version (the version on the main APOD page is cropped).

You could also go to the photograper's web site (click on his name under the picture). You'll find a star trail version of the picture, and of course, Polaris will be near the center of rotation. Here's a direct link to that page:

http://www.jackfusco.com/?portfolio_category=nightsky

Joe

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by Ann » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:55 am

Thanks, Joe! Finally! The star trail image really helped in pointing out which star is Polaris.

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by starstruck » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:20 am

I love the atmosphere of this photograph . . it is such an evocative view, made extra-special by the meteor.

And the link that Joe provided (above) to the photographer's website reveals more beautifully composed pictures.

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by jackfusco » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:15 pm

Thank you for all of the kind words everyone! It really is an honor to have my photo featured today. This was actually my first trip down to the East Point Lighthouse. I wasn't expecting the light to be on at all, so the fact that it was flashing was a bit of a nice surprise. It was indeed flashing red, but the color ended up washing out. I started shooting just as the moon was setting (just about 3am) and kept shooting until a little after 6am.Thankfully, aside from setting up and occasionally checking on things, I was able to wait in my car as the temperature was around 15 degrees Fahrenheit before factoring in an incredibly cold wind.

All in all, we were able to see a good number of meteors that night with the highest number of them peaking around 3:30am. It was very exciting to finally have another meteor shower visible in New Jersey with all of the conditions cooperating. Thanks again everyone!

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:13 pm

Very nice picture Jack! 8-) 8-) 8-)
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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by biddie67 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:41 pm

It certainly is a good picture!! And thanks to Jack Fusco for adding your comments ~~ it's always interesting to read some of the background story as to how the photo was taken.

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by bystander » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:28 pm

Congratulations and thanks for stopping by, Jack. I agree with biddie67, it's always nice to hear from the photographer.
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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by saturn2 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:38 pm

Quadrantid meteor shawer and the Lighthouse is a very good image.
Two class of light: a in the sky and other on the Earth

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Jan 09, 2012 1:22 pm

The light house looks like it could use a bit of restoration! I hope this marvelous structure isn't left to deteriorate over the years. :(
Orin

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by Mactavish » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:24 am

orin stepanek wrote:The light house looks like it could use a bit of restoration! I hope this marvelous structure isn't left to deteriorate over the years. :(
Actually, it appears to be in very good condition in other photos. To see, go to Google Maps and enter “Heislerville NJ”. The lighthouse is about two miles southwest. The building is red brick and appears to have been whitewashed, much of which has worn off giving it an “antiqued” look which only served to enhance Fusco’s excellent photo. After all, a lighthouse should look old! I’m sure it is not being neglected.

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:30 pm

Mactavish wrote:
orin stepanek wrote:The light house looks like it could use a bit of restoration! I hope this marvelous structure isn't left to deteriorate over the years. :(
Actually, it appears to be in very good condition in other photos. To see, go to Google Maps and enter “Heislerville NJ”. The lighthouse is about two miles southwest. The building is red brick and appears to have been whitewashed, much of which has worn off giving it an “antiqued” look which only served to enhance Fusco’s excellent photo. After all, a lighthouse should look old! I’m sure it is not being neglected.
I'm only going by the picture but if you look at the windows; it appears that some are boarded and some are missing! :cry: I don't believe that it has to look brand new but better appearance would be appropriate! After all it is an historic building.
After using your information it does sound like they are still working on restoration. :) http://www.njlhs.org/njlight/eastpoint.html
Orin

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Re: APOD: Lighthouse and Meteor (2012 Jan 08)

Post by jackfusco » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:20 pm

Thank you again everyone!

I was hoping to get to the lighthouse a bit earlier than I did (simply entering "East Point Lighthouse" in to google maps ended up giving you a very different destination each time), but from the best I could tell it did look a good bit worn. A lot of the pictures I found online showed it looking much newer than what I found while I was there. As Mactavish said, it definitely had a bit of antiqued look along with a few boarded up windows, but it definitely gave it character. I know a lot of lighthouses in that area are in the process of waiting on funding to be restored/saved, so hopefully it won't be too long before that happens. I'm hoping to make a trip back down to that area during the day, if I make it back to the lighthouse I'll be sure to let everyone know.

Thanks again for all of the kind words. They're very much appreciated.