Image of Perseid meteor captured by Saraj Gunasekera of ACCIMT using Canon EOS-1 MarkIII camera with Canon wide angle(16-35mm, 109 Degree field of view) lens with 10 second exposure at 5:20am (Sri Lankan time) on 13th August, 2016. The trail of the meteor is about 6 Degrees across the sky.
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View the dazzling cosmic event Perseid Meteor shower peaking on 12th August 2016
Comets slowly evaporate and fragment as they orbit the Sun. The small pieces of debris that trail in their path become meteors. The Perseids, shooting stars that appear to come from the constellation Perseus (hence the name Perseid), are seen every August as earth crosses the debris path of comet 109P/Swift–Tuttle.
The comet 109P/Swift–Tuttle orbits around Sun every 133 years in a highly elliptical orbit. In November 2014, the planet Jupiter was closer to comet’s orbit and the Jupter’s strong gravitational field nudged clump of debris about 930,000 miles off the comet’s orbit, towards earth. After travelling 22 months, around 12th of August 2016 these debris will pass through the earth’s atmosphere producing spectacular meteor shower. This year Perseids will be expected as an outburst which could count even 200 meteors per hour.
The best time to observe the meteor shower is after midnight till dawn. Look at the constellation Perseus in the north-east sky (around 4am) and watch patiently meteors streaking through the sky. If you have a camera with a wide angle lens you can try to take images of them.