An incredible video captured beautiful shooting stars and green lights in the sky during August’s Perseid meteor shower.
Perseid meteors streaked across the sky on Saturday night (August 11), 24 hours before they were due to peak.
The annual Perseid meteor shower should be even more spectacular tonight (August 12), when up to 70 shooting stars an hour will be visible.
Watch the beautiful, natural display here:
The clip was captured in the Swiss Alps in Valais Canton.
When the Earth orbits into the wake of the Swift-Tuttle Comet, tiny pieces of debris, around the size of grains of sand, hit our atmosphere at around 132,000 miles per hour.
As they do so, these particles reach temperatures of 3,000 to 10,000 degrees Celcius, and fly across the sky in what is known as the Perseid meteor shower.
This year, the meteor shower will peak overnight tonight (August 12), so if you want to be in with a chance of seeing them, get yourself outside overnight in an area of low light pollution.
Who says you can't catch meteors in moonlight? Check out this beautiful shot of one of this weekend's Eta Aquariid meteors from Eliot Herman in Tucson.
— EarthSky (@earthskyscience) May 6, 2018
If you fancy trying to spot them, head to a dark location in the countryside just before dawn comes. The best thing to do is to head away from the cities and towns.
Find yourself a spot away from buildings and trees, and if possible, get up to higher altitudes.
Here on Earth we are lucky enough to witness some spectacular natural displays in the sky.
Although Halley’s Comet is only visible from Earth every 74-79 years – next scheduled to appear mid-2061 – in May, people were able to see some of its shooting stars.
The UK enjoyed the celestial display, as debris from the famous comet fell into our atmosphere, lighting up the sky.
In fact, this event – known as the Eta Aquarids – happens every year when Earth passes through a stream of ice and dust left behind in the trail of Halley’s Comet.
That particular meteor shower is always visible in the month of May and is best known for its appearance in the famous Bayeux Tapestry, which was made in the 11th century.
A second meteor shower, known as the Orionids, is also visible every October.
As particles the size of grains fly off from the comet, they burn up in the atmosphere, resulting in the meteor showers which attract stargazers from around the world as they want to witness the stunning shooting stars.
May’s meteor shower got its name as the stars appear to emerge from the constellation of Aquarius.
With the constellation being located in the southern hemisphere, it made some of the shooting stars hard to spot as Dhara Patel, an astronomer at Royal Observatory Greenwich, explained to the Mirror:
At this time of the year, much of Aquarius remains below the horizon until the predawn hours.
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, this meteor shower is not favourably placed.
The meteoroids, officially named 1P/Halley, fly into the Earth’s atmosphere at an approximate, stunning speed of 150,000 miles per hour.
Raining down on Earth, as they burn up, they produce streaks of light which are the shooting stars we see in the sky.
If you do try your hand at sky-watching I wish you all the very best – and I can vouch, it’s worth a go.
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