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Perseid Trail

By: Wally Pacholka

 

Region: Americas

Site: Joshua Tree National Park - USA

Date: 2008 August 12

As seen on Astronomy Picture of the Day and the National Geographic News this bright and colorful meteor flashed through morning skies of 2008 August 12, is part of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. The image is captured from the Joshua Tree National Park, in California. Dust from comet Swift-Tuttle is responsible for the Perseids, creating the northern hemisphere's regular summer sky show. The comet dust is vaporized as it enters the atmosphere at upwards of 60 kilometers per second, producing visible trails that begin at altitudes of around 100 kilometers. Of course, the trails point back to a radiant point in the constellation Perseus, giving the meteor shower its name. Recorded after moonset, the starry background features the bright star Vega on the right. Extending below the western horizon is the faint band of the northern Milky Way. Wally Pacholka/Astropics.com.

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