Check Out These 22 Dazzling Images of the Biggest and Best Meteor Shower of the Year

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

A photographer prepares to take pictures of the annual Perseid meteor shower in the village of Crissolo, near Cuneo, in the Monviso Alps region of northern Italy, on Aug. 13, 2015.Marco Bertorello/Getty Images

2. International Space Station

3. A farm near Tonganoxie, Kansas

A meteor from the Perseid Meteor Shower is seen over a farm near Tonganoxie, Kansas, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015Orlin Wagner/AP

4. Rio Grande, New Mexico

5. Van, Turkey

Perseid meteors streak across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower in Edremit district of Van, eastern Turkey on Aug. 12, 2015. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

6. Near the Florida Keys, Florida

7. Near Tuzla, Bosnia

Stars and meteor streaks are seen behind a destroyed house, near Tuzla, Bosnia, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015.Amel Emric/AP

8. Rufforth, England

A meteor passes across the sky during the peak in activity of the annual Perseids meteor shower in the village of Rufforth, near York, northern England on Aug. 12, 2015.Oli Scarff/Getty Images

9. Cranleigh, England

10. Lee Vining, California

11. Norway


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."

12. Joshua Tree, California

13. Michigan, USA 

14. Lake Tahoe, California


15. Ossipee, Maine

16. Fort St. John, British Columbia

17. Ondrejov, Czech Republic

A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky over the radar near the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Science of the Czech Republic on Aug. 12, 2015 in Ondrejov, Czech RepublicMatej Divizna/Getty

18. Mark Twain Lake, Missouri

19. North Ayrshire, Scotland

20. Connecticut, USA

21. Carew, Wales

22. Bamburgh, England