Shooting Stars: Cameras Worldwide Snap Time-Lapse of Perseid Meteor Shower

Perseid meteor shower

The Perseids showered the Earth last month, and photographs captured by cameras across the world have been used to create a time-lapse image of the meteor shower.

Students at the Florida Institute of Technology have created a time-lapse image of the Perseid meteor shower, which began in July and peaked during August 11-12.The students created the image from pictures of the meteor showerwhich were captured across the globe by wide-angle cameras monitoring the night sky.

The Perseid meteors shower Earth when it passes through a trail of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle. The comet measures about 26 km across, and passes close to Earth every 133 years; the last time was in 1992.

Comet Swift-Tuttle, which was first discovered by US astronomers Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle in 1862, is predicted to return pass Earth again August 2126, traveling through space at a speed of 58 km/s.

The night sky captured by the skysentinel all sky camera network
The night sky captured by the skysentinel all sky camera network

In the 1970s, scientists predicted that the comet could then collide with Earth, an impact which would have about 300 times the energy of the asteroid collision that is thought to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs.However, it is now believed that Swift-Tuttle is on course to miss the Earth by about 23 million km in 2126. Astronomers believe that the comet won’t ever get closer than about 130,000 km to the Earth’s orbit; the Moon is an average of 384,000 km from Earth.


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