Perseids, writ large

Perseids, writ large

Perseids, writ large

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Aug. 25 2009 7:00 AM

Perseids, writ large


Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

The Earth has left the Perseid meteor stream behind, but last week's display was caught by many a photographer. This video, however, is the best I've seen. I've embedded it below, but you really want to go to the Flickr page to see it embiggenated. Click the HD button on the video to see it in even more spectacular high-def!

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Wow. You can see airplanes whizzing around, but the meteors tend to all come from one spot in the sky (in the lower center of the video). That's because the Earth is plowing through them in space, so they all come from one direction, like driving through a tunnel makes all the lights appear to come from directly ahead of you.

You can see the Milky Way cutting vertically across the images, and to the right you can also spot the little fuzzy that's the Andromeda Galaxy. The sun Moon rise cuts this video short, which is too bad. I'd love to see a much longer version of this!

[Update: Duh, I should've known that was the Moon rising and not the Sun. This video was shot around the same time locally as when I was out looking at the meteors, and the Moon was causing me grief too.]