So I am a newcomer to Astronomy - only aged 15 - and am currently looking upon the sky in hopes of witnessing several meteors. This is my first time ever - maybe - seeing them. I just went inside for food and drink, come out and i saw a trail (this trail was not here before I went in). I do have a few doubts, one it was seen below the moon, when it was supposedly meant to be near Vega - however I read about them having a tendency to be different to predictions. Also, considering it is so close to the Moon and I can't currently see Vega from this position I highly doubt it.

please view the below image in the hopes of identifying the object (please excuse the camera quality, I am currently setting up the DSLR and this was photographed on my Nexus.)

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


The feature in the photograph ressembles a condensation trail.

Meteors usually move rather rapidly, mostly perish within a few seconds or less. In rare cases they may leave long trails; the meteor would have been very bright (brighter than the moon) in those cases, moving much faster than an aeroplane.

  • $\begingroup$ I see what you mean, however the trail is still there, several hours later. Also, it is not at all cloudy and hasn't been most of tonight so can't see how they could form - from my knowledge they form from the plane causing water vapor as they travel through the cloud, correct me if I am wrong. But if there are no clouds then how could it have formed? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 0:16
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    $\begingroup$ Many planes fly in the upper troposphere or in the stratosphere. Even if those higher atmospheric layers are saturated with water vapor the vapor doesn't need to condense. It needs something to condense on. The exhaust fumes of the planes provide the fine dust/soot grains needed for condensation, and they may provide additional vapor. $\endgroup$
    – Gerald
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 1:22

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