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Perseid photos 2021: A week of shooting stars

A bright green meteor streaks along on one side of the photo. On the other side is a red, jellyfish-like lightning sprite.
Stephen Hummel caught this photo on August 8, 2021. He wrote: “A Perseid meteor pierced through our atmosphere at the same moment a large lightning sprite appeared over Sonora, Mexico. Meteors and sprites occur at roughly the same altitude. The distance to the sprite is roughly 300 miles [500 km], and was generated by a 48kA positive lightning strike. The distance to the meteor is unknown. Probably my luckiest capture yet!” Stephen shared this photo via McDonald Observatory in West Texas. He’s expert at capturing lightning sprites. See another cool sprite photo from Stephen.

Enjoy these Perseid photos!

2021 has been a fabulous year for the beloved Perseid meteor shower. No matter where you live worldwide, the peak mornings of the shower are likely August 11, 12, and 13. On the peak mornings in 2021 – in the early morning hours, when the most meteors will be flying – there’ll be no moon to ruin the show. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy this shower. And here are a few of our favorite photos, of the many rolling in this week at EarthSky Community Photos. Thank you to all who are contributing photos! Submit your meteor photo here.

Read more about the Perseid meteor shower: All you need to know

Slash of white light alongside Milky Way.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jason Reynolds in Asheville, North Carolina, captured this photo of a meteor on August 11, 2021. He wrote: “I am unsure whether this is a Perseid or a Delta Aquariid, but it is the second largest meteor I’ve captured an image of (first being what became an EarthSky photo of the day from last year’s Leonid meteor shower). You can see some clouds in this image, and they are going to get thicker where I am over the next few days, so I am glad I spent an hour outside early this morning to observe and photograph the meteor shower, and particularly grateful for this little gift from the universe.” Thank you, Jason!
Milky Way over lake with two vertical meteors next to it.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Cristina Dachnowska in Turinsky Lake, Stredocesky, Czechia, captured this photo of the Milky Way and meteors on August 10, 2021. She wrote: “Taken last night while on a night walk. Perseids, as usual did not disappoint :).” Thank you, Cristina!
Milky Way with multiple meteor streaks.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jose Zarcos Palma in Mina São Domingos, Dark Sky Mertola, Portugal, captured this photo of meteors on August 8, 2021. He wrote: “Perseids are now everywhere in the night sky…. Meteors appear all over the sky and in this pre-peak night, the challenge was to catch a few fireballs near the Milky Way, in the opposite direction of the radiant. Here they are, after 733 shots I managed to catch 5 fireballs displayed as they appear in the sky with no geometric correction…. What a night…” Thank you, Jose!
Perseid photos: A green and purple sky is freckled with white dots and a white streak across the middle.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | EarthSky friend Mike Cohea caught this meteor near Sisters, Oregon on August 7, 2021. View it larger to see how colorful it is. The Perseids are known for their colors. Mike wrote: “A large and vibrant Perseid meteor streaks through the night sky above the volcanic peaks of the Three Sisters in the central Oregon Cascade Mountains as the Milky Way looms bright.” Thank you, Mike!

Bottom line: The 2021 Perseid meteor shower is expected to produce the most meteors in the predawn hours of August 11, 12, and 13, in a dark, moonless sky. Enjoy these Perseid meteor photos from the EarthSky Community.

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