After waiting for hours in record-breaking heat for a glimpse of the much-anticipated Perseid metor shower of 2016, astrophotographer Chris Sheridan had reason to celebrate.
"I told myself numerous times last night, as I was sweating my a-- off, that this trip to shoot might not have been the best idea I have had with this drenching heat. Then at 3:40 am ... the pay-off. Spectacular!" he wrote in an image description sent in to Space.com.
Sheridan captured this image the image from Kerr Lake on the North Carolina – Virginia border on Friday (Aug. 12) during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower. And, he had a little celebration to mark the moment.
"Yeah, I did the fireball dance in the dark like nobody was watching," Sheridan added. [See more awesome photos of the 2016 Perseids]
The fireball shoots through in green creating a dazzling reflection on the lake. According to NASA research, the Perseid meteor shower produces more fireballs — bright meteors that streak across the sky — than any other annual shower, earning it the title of "fireball champion."
The high rate of fireballs could have something to do with the meteor shower's progenitor: Comet Swift-Tuttle. Every year, the Earth passes through a trail of dust left behind in the comet's wake. The dust burns up in Earth's atmosphere, creating the brilliant shower.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share it with Space.com and our news partners for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at email@example.com.
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Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.