This time-lapse image shows Russian rocket Briz-M, right after a meteorite smashed into it in 2007. That yellow line, like a comet's tail, is the debris expanding to the left over a half-hour period, says photographer Ray Palmer. Gallery below.
Says Perth-based Palmer, self-taught "cosmotographer," the debris is moving too slowly for the naked human eye to perceive. This is the first time a human-made explosion in space has been captured on camera.
Palmer told the Perth Sunday Times he set up his camera to take a 30-minute exposure of the Southern Cross when the collision happened:
All I could see was these flashing objects like twinkling stars and it was the fuselage and pieces of this space ship spinning in space. Looking back, it was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.
Here's another amazing time-lapse image, showing star trails whilring among the trees, painting the sky with ribbons of luminescence:
Palmer's work will be appearing at ABD The Gallery in Perth Month. Here are a few more of our faves:
See more of his work here. [Astrophotography by Ray Palmer]