The Perseid meteor shower of the 2022 reached its peak this weekend and while the bright full moon may have washed out the best of the "shooting stars" display this year, that doesn't mean skywatchers were left completely in the dark.
Stargazers around the world captured some dazzling views of the Perseid meteor shower as it peaked overnight Friday and Saturday (Aug. 12-13) and they shared the photos to prove it. Some observers took to Twitter to share their meteor views while other astrophotographers snapped truly stunning photos for Getty Images.
"Perseid fireball I saw last night from Oxfordshire," skywatcher Mary McIntyre of Oxfordhire in the United Kingdom wrote on Twitter, adding that she captured the Perseid photos with a meteor camera. "The ionization trail was awesome."
The Perseid meteor shower is typically one of the best meteor displays of the year, but its peak in 2022 came just one day after the Sturgeon supermoon (August's full moon) on Aug. 11. Since dark skies are vital for meteor watching, even bright moonlight can dim a stargazer's prospects.
Photographer Wu Zhengjie for the photo service VCG and Getty Images still managed to capture stunning views of the Perseids from the Eboliang Yardang landform in Haixi Mongolian and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province of China. The images show brilliant Perseid meteors over a striking landscape.
Another photographer, Veysel Altun of the Anadalou Agency and Getty Images, managed to capture a Perseid meteor streak over a campsite in Samsun, Turkey.
Photographer Ercin Ertuk, also of the Anadalou Agency and Getty Images, snapped a photo of a Perseid as it streaked across the sky over trees in Ankara, Turkey.
Still more stargazers managed to catch views of the Perseids with either their own cameras or meteor cameras that constantly watch the sky to record fireballs. Here's a look at some of our favorites spotted on Twitter.
This pebble came an awful long way before giving me a neat little show last week. Luckily, there were lots of meteors during the #perseid build up, because during the peak tonight it will be tough to see all but the brightest with the full moon in the sky @BBCStargazing pic.twitter.com/n2iFVBi0p0August 12, 2022
#Perseid peak night. It's something, I guess. The full Moon made this bright, and we were lucky to get any clear skies being under a cutoff low in any case. Fireballs avoided most of my cameras, but I got them with the 8 mm fisheye. Two -4 mag, one -3 mag Perseids. @ThePhotoHour pic.twitter.com/rbU45Npm5QAugust 13, 2022
Mag -4.8 #Perseid #fireball I saw last night from #Oxfordshire It was detected on our NW #meteorcamera The ionization trail was awesome (I'll share next!) Canon 1100D + 18-55mm lens 8sec ISO-800 f/3.5 #PerseidMeteorShower #Meteors #Perseids2022 pic.twitter.com/lv2cbkcDsMAugust 13, 2022
Another #Perseid #IonizationTrail this time at 23:54 BST 11th Aug 2022. Taken from #Oxfordshire UK with Canon 1100D #PerseidMeteorShower #Meteors #Perseids2022 pic.twitter.com/m1ruM4kSTKAugust 12, 2022
Two #Perseid #Meteors on 2 different DSLRs, both just before 22:30 BST 11th Aug '22. This is 2 of the 6 #Perseids I got on camera last night #Perseids2022 #PerseidMeteorShower pic.twitter.com/L1CB0IM31vAugust 12, 2022
A wider approach last night #perseid #meteors with the 2nd 📷Good field of view albeit less detail.2 Cameras planned tonight, wide & not so 👌EM-1 mk3, 8mm pro F1.8, ISO320, 15s x 5hrs live composite mode@VirtualAstro @OMSYSTEMcameras pic.twitter.com/4hiJh6iS6MAugust 12, 2022
The Perseid meteor shower occurs each year in mid-August when the Earth passes through the dusty trail of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. When those comet bits slam into Earth's atmosphere, they can spawn bright trails as the streak across the sky. They appear to radiate out from the constellation Perseus, hence their name.
The next major meteor shower of 2022 will be the Orionid meteor shower in October. That shower will peak on Oct. 20 and 21, but its activity period runs from Sept. 26 to Nov. 22. It is caused by the remnants of Halley's Comet as the Earth passes through that trail.
Check out our guide for the best meteor showers of the year to prepare for your next stargazing experience.
Editor's note: If you snap an amazing photo of a Perseid meteor or any other night-sky sight and you'd like to share it with Space.com for a story or image gallery, send images, comments and location information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.