Mobius Moment

A bright meteor sears across the Milky Way Galaxy behind the Mobius Arch in central California's Alabama Hills, with Mount Whitney and Lone Pine Peak lit by moonlight in the background. It was 3:00am as I walked out to the camera that I'd left in the desert on a tripod connected to my programmed intervalometer to check on the second star trail exposure series of the night.

I was aware the moon had risen during the exposures, and sure enough, it had pretty much ruined the 14 5 minute exposures, which had all been bleached out too much to work with. But the moon… it was absolutely incredible the way it illuminated the stone formations in the desert out there. The best part of all was the way it lit up the Sierra Nevada under the night sky filled with the Milky Way and billions of stars. So I knew I had to make the best of the situation and immediately set up to make some Milky Way photographs with this beautiful arch framing Mount Whitney and Lone Pine Peak under the moonlight. I set up the camera, dialed in the settings, and pressed the shutter release on the remote. About 20 seconds later, a very bright meteor zipped across the sky, right in front of the Milky Way, and disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. 10 seconds later, the shutter clicked closed, and I knew I had the shot. When this image popped up on the review screen, I just packed up the camera and went back to the car.