Photos: Perseid meteor show wows skywatchers with celestial fireworks

By Hanneke Weitering
August 14, 2018, 2:42:17 PM EDT

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Plenty of meteors — including some fireballs — are visible over Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in this photo by astrophotographer Sergio Garcia Rill. He captured these meteors during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower on Aug. 12, 2018. Credit: Sergio Garcia Rill


Brilliant displays of Perseid meteors lit up the heavens this past weekend as the annual Perseid meteor shower reached its peak.

Skywatchers across the Northern Hemisphere had the best views of the Perseid meteor shower, which produced around 60 to 70 "shooting stars" per hour over the weekend. The shower peaked overnight on Sunday (Aug. 12) and early into Monday morning (Aug. 13).

fireball

Astrophotographer Stojan Stojanovski captured this photo of a fireball during the Perseid meteor shower in August 2018. Credit: Stojan Stojanovski


Because the meteor shower's peak arrived just after the new moon on Saturday (Aug. 11), the dark "moonless" sky provided excellent conditions for spotting meteors in the night sky.

As Perseid meteors dashed across the sky throughout the night, skywatchers were treated to the occasional fireball meteor. Fireballs are large meteors that explode with bright, green light as they enter Earth's atmosphere.

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