While pursuing images of what turned out to be an elusive Perseid meteor shower, Stephen Gresser captured some spectacular photos of the night sky over Arizona.
"One great fireball with a good, long, sparkling tail lasted for nearly a second and a half, right in the middle of one of my exposures, but it didn't show up on the image," Gresser wrote SPACE.com via email.
Even if Gresser was unable to snap images of the Perseid meteor shower, his images reveal an absolutely spectacular view of the Arizona night sky. Gresser took these images Aug. 9, from a spot next to the Anderson Mesa Station of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. with a Canon 5D Mark II (with official Canon firmware) using the "Bulb" setting, and a Canon EF 14mm 1:2.8 lens. The camera was generally set for ISO-5000 and 30-second exposures. [See amazing 2013 Perseid meteor photos by skywatchers]
Skywatchers from all over the world enjoyed this annual meteor shower, which is best viewed far away from city lights. The Perseid meteor shower is actually caused by bits of debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle and peaked in the late overnight hours on Aug. 11-12, and 12-13.