The Perseid meteor shower, an annual astronomical event that occurs in July and August, is widely known as one of the year's most spectacular sights. The bright lights that shoot across the sky are a result of Earth's romp through the debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle; bits of rock and dust pass through our atmosphere, catching fire in the process and leaving trails across the night sky.
Though the shower could be seen beginning in mid-July, this week marked its dazzling peak, and Wednesday night was the pinnacle. From California to the Czech Republic, astronomy buffs and casual observers alike witnessed a dramatic show.
1. Crissolo, Italy
2. International Space Station
3. A farm near Tonganoxie, Kansas
4. Rio Grande, New Mexico
5. Van, Turkey
6. Near the Florida Keys, Florida
7. Near Tuzla, Bosnia
8. Rufforth, England
9. Cranleigh, England
10. Lee Vining, California
Redditor neihuffda posted this shot to the subreddit r/space. The user explained the effect in a comment:
"The nature of this effect is long exposure on the camera. The meteorite's trajectory was perfectly ellipsoidal, just like an atmospheric entry should look like. In other words, the meteorite didn't produce these odd trails, the camera did. If you look closely, you'll see that there are in fact two exposures in the photo. At the bottom you see the horizon from the direction I was actually pointing the camera at the time. When I saw the meteorite, I rushed to point the camera at it, while the shutter was still open. Me rattling around the equipment then produced the trails."