Clear skies and near-freezing temperatures gave Ballarat early-birds a view of the Eta Aquariid meteor shower early Tuesday morning.
Although the shower did not live up to expectations of producing up to 20 bright meteors per hour, photographer Randal Smith captured the streak of one meteor in the skies over the Mount Mercer Wind Farm.
Mr Smith began his sky-watching at Lake Wendouree about 3am, but there was too much light to see the streaks so he headed to his favourite astrophotography site at the wind farm.
"The wind turbines are majestic and it's always nice to have something in the foreground of a shot," he said.
"And it's a nice dark place to do some astrophotography."
Mr Smith said he only saw four bright meteors and a lot of dimmer streaks despite predictions of up to 20 an hour, but viewers in NSW saw up to 17 an hour.
The meteor he captured was his second test shot, taken on a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM shooting at 16mm with a 30 sec exposure at 2.8 at ISO 3200 using the 5DIII.
"I had just set up and that was the second test shot when it came in to frame. I thought 'you beauty we're in for a good night' but there weren't many more."
The meteor shower is the result of bits of rock and ice debris from Halley's Comet burning up in Earth's atmosphere.
Australian National University astronomer Dr Brad Tucker said the Eta Aquariids meteor shower would also be visible on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
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"This is one of the best meteor showers in the Southern Hemisphere this year," Dr Tucker said.
But Ballarat's weather forecast means it's unlikely that local sky-watchers will see any more, with cloudy skies expected after 3am both mornings.
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