24.7 MB (2.7 MB compressed)
3600 x 2402 pixels
30.5 x 20.3 cm ⏐ 12.0 x 8.0 in (300dpi)
ECKHARD SLAWIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ECKHARD SLAWIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Perseid meteor shower tracks and Milky Way. Optical image of meteor tracks (centre) from the Perseid meteor shower, set against the background of the Milky Way, the band of stars and nebulae formed by our galaxy seen from the inside. This meteor shower reaches its peak around 12 August each year, but its meteors may be seen for about three weeks around this date. Meteor tracks, also known as falling or shooting stars, are caused by tiny dust grains entering the Earth's atmosphere. The air resistance incandesces the particles making them visible as streaks of light. Meteor showers occur regularly each year when the Earth crosses the orbit of a comet and its debris enters into the atmosphere. The Perseid shower is associated with the Swift-Tuttle comet. This image was taken on 17 August 2018.
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