Year of Meteors


The Meteor of 1860
Frederic Edwin Church painted this image from life. A rare astronomical event called "meteors in procession" happens when a single meteor breaks apart and its pieces travel together through the atmosphere. They are typically about forty miles above the earth, flying almost parallel to the surface. 

Walt Whitman also described this particular event:

The strange huge meteor procession, dazzling and clear, shooting over our heads,    
(A moment, a moment long, it sail’d its balls of unearthly light over our heads,
Then departed, dropt in the night, and was gone;)
Year of comets and meteors transient and strange!
--from “Year of Meteors (1859-1860)” 

I love Church's lush evocations of nature. Here are a few more of his paintings:

Storm in the Mountains

A Sunset

Cotopaxi
(Cotopaxi is a volcano in Ecuador)

The Icebergs

The Heart of the Andes

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