The 2022 Perseid meteor shower peaked this weekend, and while a bright full moon may have washed out the best “meteor” display of the year, that doesn’t mean skywatchers are in complete darkness.
When the Perseid meteor shower peaked overnight on Friday and Saturday (August 12-13), stargazers around the world captured some dazzling sights, and they shared photos to prove it. Some observers shared their meteor sights on Twitter, while other astrophotographers took truly stunning photos for Getty Images.
“The Perseus fireball I saw last night from Oxfordshire,” said skywatcher Mary McIntyre of Oxfordhire, UK wrote (opens in new tab) on Twitter, adding that she took a photo of Perseus with a meteor camera. “Ionization trajectories are great.”
related: Perseid meteor shower produces early ‘shooting stars’ (video)
The Perseid meteor shower is usually one of the best meteor showers of the year, but its peak in 2022 is the day after the August 11 Sturgeon Supermoon (full moon in August). Since dark skies are critical for viewing meteors, even bright moonlight can dim the outlook for stargazers.
Photographer Wu Zhengjie of photography services VCG and Getty Images still manages to capture the stunning view of Perseus from the Ebolang Yadan landform in Haixi Mongolian-Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, China. These images show a spectacular view of the Perseid meteor shower.
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Another photographer, Veysel Altun of Anadalu Agency and Getty Images, managed to capture the Perseid meteor shower at a campsite in Samsun, Turkey.
Photographer Ercin Ertuk, also from Anadalou Agency and Getty Images, snapped a photo of the constellation Perseus as he streaked across the sky over trees in Ankara, Turkey.
And many more stargazers have managed to capture the view of Perseus with their own cameras or meteor cameras, which are constantly looking at the sky to record the fireball. Here are some of our favorites we found on Twitter.
This cobblestone went a long way before giving me a neat little show last week. Luckily there are plenty of meteors during the #perseid buildup as it’s hard to see all but the brightest full moon in the sky at peak tonight @BBCStargazing pic.twitter.com/n2iFVBi0p0August 12, 2022
#perseuspeak night. I guess there is something. The full moon brightens it all up, and we’re lucky to get any clear sky at the cutoff low in any case. The fireballs avoided most of my cameras, but I got them with the 8mm fisheye. Two -4, and one -3, Perseus. @ThePhotoHour pic.twitter.com/rbU45Npm5QAugust 13, 2022
Mag -4.8 #Perseid #fireball I saw it last night from #Oxfordshire it was detected on our NW #meteorcamera Great ionization trail (I will share next!) Canon 1100D + 18-55mm lens 8 sec ISO -800 f/3.5 #PerseidMeteorShower #Meteors #Perseids2022 pic.twitter.com/lv2cbkcDsMAugust 13, 2022
Another #Perseid #IonizationTrail this time on 11 Aug 2022 23:54 BST.Shot with Canon 1100D #PerseidMeteorShower #Meteors #Perseids2022 pic.twitter.com/m1ruM4kSTK from UK #OxfordshireAugust 12, 2022
Two #Perseid #Meteor on two different DSLRs, both before 22:30 BST on 8/11/22. Here are 2 of the 6 #Perseids I took on camera last night #Perseids2022 #PerseidMeteorShower pic.twitter.com/L1CB0IM31vAugust 12, 2022
Wider approach last night #perseid #meteors with 2nd 📷 good view, albeit with less detail. 2 Camera planned for tonight, wide not so 👌EM-1 mk3, 8mm pro F1.8, ISO320, 15s x 5hrs live composite mode @VirtualAstro @OMSYSTEMcameras pic.twitter.com/4hiJh6iS6MAugust 12, 2022
The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year in mid-August, when Earth passes through the dusty trail of Comet Swift-Tuttle. When these comet fragments hit Earth’s atmosphere, they create bright trails in the sky. They appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus, hence the name.
The next major meteor shower in 2022 will be the Orionids in October. That meteor shower will peak on October 20-21, but its active period is September 26-November 22. It was caused by the remnants of Halley’s Comet as Earth crossed that trail.
Check out our guide to the best meteor showers of the year to get ready for your next stargazing experience.
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