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In pictures: Perseid meteor shower lights up skies

by nytime
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The annual Perseid meteor shower has lit up skies across the world to the delight of those hoping to catch a glimpse of a shooting star.

The phenomenon brings up to 100 meteors an hour, as the Earth slams into the debris left behind from comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle.

As the debris hits the Earth’s atmosphere it burns up, resulting in the bright flashes known as shooting stars, which can be seen with the naked eye.

The natural display happens at a similar time in July and August each year, and this year peaked between Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday.

A meteor was spotted in front of the Sphinx Door at the ancient city of Hattusa, in Turkey

Two meteors streak across a blue night sky, with a hill with a cross on the top in shadow

Two meteors streaked across the night sky above Leeberg hill in Grossmugl, Austria

The meteors – which can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a pea – hit the Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of 134,000 mph (215,000 km/h). The blazing debris does not pose any danger to us on Earth.

It is considered one of the best astronomical events because it produces bright meteors and is one of the most active.

More than 300 stacked digital images of long exposures show Perseid meteors and aircraft crossing the sky near the city of Kumanovo, Republic of North Macedonia on 12 August 2023

In this photo, stacked images show Perseid meteors and aircraft crossing the sky near Kumanovo, North Macedonia in the early hours of Saturday

A meteor streaks in the night sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower on the island of Lastovo, Croatia

This beautiful shot catches a shooting star and the lighthouse of the island of Lastovo in Croatia

A woman looks through a telescope during the annual Perseid meteor shower on the island of Lastovo, Croatia

Sky watchers on the same island in Croatia brought out a telescope hoping to catch sight of a meteor

Perseid meteor streaks across the sky above a camping site in the Israel Negev desert

A meteor streaks across the sky above a camping site in the Israel Negev desert

This year, Nasa’s All Sky Fireball Network, which observes meteors using a network of cameras, detected the first Perseid meteor on 26 July.

It is called a “Perseid” meteor shower because the meteors appear to originate from the constellation of Perseus – named after a figure from Greek mythology.

A shooting star is seen during the Perseids meteor shower in Comillas, Cantabria, Spain

The Milky Way can be seen behind a Perseid meteor in this photo taken in Cantabria in Spain

All pictures subject to copyright.

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