Queen of the Night: Classy Cassiopeia Constellation Reigns Over Meteor (Photo)
Astrophtographer Vega Star Carpentier took this stunning photo on Aug. 11, 2012 in Épernay, Champagne-Ardenne, FR, using a Canon EOS 1000D.
Credit: VegaStar Carpentier

A Perseid meteor blazes through the night sky near the constellation Cassiopeia, a celestial queen, in this eye-popping view.

Astrophotographer VegaStar Carpentier took this stunning photo on Aug.11, 2012, in Épernay, Champagne-Ardenne, France, using a Canon EOS 1000D.

The Perseid meteor shower  has been observed by humans each summer for more than 2,000 years, It occurs when the Earth passes through debris left from the comet Swift-Tuttle. The dust and ice begin to burn when it reaches Earth’s atmosphere providing a fiery display for those who watch in late July or early August.

The constellation  Cassiopeia, named after a mythical Greek queen who boasted about her beauty, can also be seen on the right of the image. This constellation is easily recognizable due to its “W” shape and bright, glimmering stars.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com.

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Meteor showers can be awesome night sky sights, but how well do you know your shooting star facts? Find out here and good luck!
False-color image of a rare early Quadrantid, captured by a NASA meteor camera in 2010.
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Meteor Shower Quiz: How Well Do You Know 'Shooting ...
Meteor showers can be awesome night sky sights, but how well do you know your shooting star facts? Find out here and good luck!
False-color image of a rare early Quadrantid, captured by a NASA meteor camera in 2010.
0 of questions complete