Ridgecrest lies in California's Mojave Desert. The area around it offers excellent conditions for night sky photography, with no commercial air lanes cluttering the skies in the military air space around the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station.
This composite image is made from 14 shots captured during one hour using a stationary camera, a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The background image was captured at 16 mm with an exposure of 30 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 3200.
This composite result includes 14 meteors from the annual Geminid meteor shower in December 2010. The background image shows the calcium carbonate rock formations after the moon set on the western horizon. The rock formations here are calcium carbonate. Many elements including the calcium in our bones and the iron in our blood are formed in supernovae. A variety of amino acids, the building blocks for life, have been found on meteors, the debris from comets. We are, in the words of Carl Sagan, quite literally "star stuff".