Spectacular Views of Perseid Meteor Shower 2011 (PHOTOS)

 
on August 15 2011 1:46 AM
Share this article

Sky-watchers around the world observed the Perseid meteor shower on Aug. 12 when it reached its peak despite a bright full moon.

On Friday, the International Meteor Organization recorded an average of 25 shooting stars an hour. The figures increased as the peak period approached.

Meanwhile, NASA astronaut Ron Garan was able to take a picture that could be in the running for most amazing shot of all time. He was able to capture a shooting star in all its blazing glory while orbiting above the meteor.

"What a 'Shooting Star' looks like #FromSpace Taken yesterday during Perseids Meteor Shower..." Garan said on Sunday while aboard the International Space Station. He made the update to his Twitter account as he neared the end of his six-month tour in the ISS. The photo gives viewers the rare chance to see a meteor as it falls into the atmosphere.

The Perseid meteor shower is typically the brightest meteor shower each year. The spectacle is recreated yearly every August as the Earth passes through the field of debris left by the Swift-Tuttle comet.

The meteors come from Earth's orbit, coinciding with a cloud of debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. The debris, consisting of ice and dust, burn up Earth's atmosphere and create streaks of light.

Most of the debris Earth will encounter in 2011 are over 1,000 years old.

Take a look at the beautiful photos captured between the night of Aug. 12-13:

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011 Reuters

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011

The Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak on Aug. 12, 2013. Reuters

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011 Reuters

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011 Reuters

Perseid

A man with binoculars observes the moon during the Perseid meteor shower in the night sky over over El Torcal Reuters