Many stargazers were fortunate enough to cap the end of their summer with a remarkable celestial light show on Monday night.
The Perseid meteor shower dazzled many from across Canada and the Northern Hemisphere with dozens of people sharing their snapshots of the light show on social media.
NASA astronomers widely consider this one of the best meteor showers to see during the year. And on its blog, the space agency pointed out the sight is caused by debris from the ancient Comet Swift-Tuttle streaking across our skies.
The classic illusion of falling stars can be seen every year as the Earth passes through debris left behind by the 26-kilometre wide comet as it orbits the sun. The showers have actually been visible since late July but peaked on Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
When astronomers trace meteors, they track them from a point of origin in a specific area in the sky and this most recent meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Perseus.
In another blog post from earlier this month, NASA wrote that visible meteor rates would be down from 60 “shooting stars” per hour to only about 15 to 20 per hour because of the brightness of the full moon.
But the space agency stressed that people didn’t need a telescope or binoculars to see the Perseids which are “rich in bright meteors and fireballs.”
So while the moon and cloud coverage absconded the views of swaths of people across North America, many managed to capture the celestial views.
The Virtual Telescope Project in Europe even livestreamed the event and left their footage on its site.
In other words, if you missed seeing the showers last night, skywatchers’ pictures, videos and GIFs online will give you a decent second-hand view.
Dozens shared their footage using the hashtag PerseidMeteorShower but if those aren’t enough, the Perseid meteor shower will still continue to be seen until later this month.August 13, 2019
Tonight's the best night to see the Perseids! Tune in on our @NASA Meteor Watch Facebook Page starting at 8 PM CT (https://t.co/UElpfdpnFf) or watch online at https://t.co/huzagdVYbg. pic.twitter.com/KKZRgJZ9v2— NASA Marshall (@NASA_Marshall) August 12, 2019 August 13, 2019
Last night the Perseids meteor shower could not only be seen, but also heard. You can listen to the meteors via the CAMRAS WebSDR. You will hear short pops, pings or whistling sounds. These are meteors, most likely Perseids, ionizing the atmosphere.https://t.co/S7yQKINkLo pic.twitter.com/hE4tvVecur— ASTRON (@ASTRON_NL) August 13, 2019 August 13, 2019
The #PerseidMeteorShower definitely impacted this view, not that much in the absolute totals for this day, but for the above-average density of hourly meteors. #Perseids
Looking forward to analyzing today's data tomorrow, to see if how big the difference will be. #meteor https://t.co/ni9tJcFvON
Lazy man's Perseid. Moonlight damped my enthusiasm this time around, so I'm catching up on work while a back yard time lapse is firing away. The bright ones aren't faring too bad though. Seventeen captured so far. #Perseids2019 #PerseidMeteorShower pic.twitter.com/wHMwRE0IJ0— Jeremy Perez (@jperez1690) August 13, 2019 View this post on Instagram
Perseid Meteor Shower seen from Glacier Point, Yosemite in the pre dawn hours of 8/10 #perseidmeteorshower #perseids #perseid #glacierpoint #halfdome #yose #yosemite #yosemitenationalpark #yosemitevalley #addictedtoyosemite #addictedtonationalparks #nationalparksatnight #yosemitenps #yosemiteatnight #meteorshower #meteors #meteor #compositephotography #stunnersoninsta #nightsky #nightskyphotography #nightView this post on Instagram
"The Persied meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle as it swings through the inner solar system and ejects a trail of dust and gravel along its orbit. When earth passes through the debris, specs of comet-stuff hit the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and disintegrate in flashes of light. Meteors from this comet are called Perseids because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus" - @nasa . This time of the year, despite the moon being at almost 89% brightness, LAs light pollution and flights hovering around, this composite shows the capture from 3.30 am to 5am atop Santa Monica Mountains just after moonset on Aug 12 2019. Was able to see approximately 40-50 meteors. The mountains were the best bet as visibility from lower altitude was was not possible due to cloud cover. If you see the mountain peaks closely we were literally over the clouds. EXIF: ISO: 3200 10mm f2.8 25" exposure . . . #meteorshower #perseids #persieds2019 #stargazing #astrophotography #stars #canon #longexposure #perseidmeteorshower #landscapephotography #visualambassadors #nightshooters #artofvisuals #yourshotphotographer #milkyway #jaw_dropping_shots #main_vision #longexposure_shots #agameoftones #way2ill #special_shots #dscvr_earth #earthofficial #beautifuldestinations #earthfocus #ig_color #tripotocommunity #ourplanetdaily #depthobsessed #bhfyp @twanight
More on this story from CTVNews.ca