The Perseid Meteor

Photos: Daily Mail Streaking down towards Stonehenge across the path of all the other stars in the sky, this shooting star is hurtling to ...

Photos: Daily Mail

Streaking down towards Stonehenge across the path of all the other stars in the sky, this shooting star is hurtling to Earth at 135,000 miles per hour – 100 times the speed of Concorde.

The smaller, diagonal lines on the photo are normal stars, with the long-exposure photography tracing their movement in the sky as Earth revolves.

The longer, almost vertical streak of light is the shooting star, which stems from grains of dust left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle as it sweeps through space.

Every time the Earth crosses the comet’s trail, the debris burns up in the atmosphere, producing a dazzling flash of light.

As the particles, each no bigger than a grain of sand, hit the atmosphere at 135,000mph they burn up, producing trails of light that shoot across the sky.

Although the shower has passed its peak, shooting stars will be visible for several more days, with star-gazers advised to look northeast.

This year, the Perseid shower peaked at around 11pm on Thursday night , when observers in the countryside were able to see meteors streaking overhead at a rate of one almost every half a second.





A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky over Stonehenge in Salisbury Plain


A long exposure image showing a meteor streaking across the night sky over the Roman castle 'Bukelon' near the village of Matochina, Bulgaria


A meteor streaks across the sky against a field of stars near Grazalema, southern Spain


The meteor shower puts on a show in the night sky over a beach in Cancun, Mexico and over Matka mountain in The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


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