Firefall

1996. Acrylic on canvas panel. 24"x36".

Publication History

A hail of meteorites rains upon the lifeless surface of the newly formed earth. Although catastrophic bombardments like this ceased ages ago, thrilling showers of meteors still occur.

Each year in late November, the earth passes through a stream of debris shed by Comet Tempel-Tuttle, resulting in the Leonid meteor shower, named for the constellation Leo from which they seem to radiate. Once every thirty-three years, the earth encounters a dense cloud of particles near the comet itself, sometimes producing an intense firestorm of "falling stars". Spectacular displays of the Leonids occurred in 1833, 1966 and 2002.



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