Mark your calendars now to make sure you see the best meteor showers of 2011.
This lovely time-elapsed photo, taken during the August 2010 Perseid meteor shower, only shows one actual meteor. If you start in the middle of the photo, and work your way to the right, the meteor is just above the second-largest tree, clearly moving at a different angle than all the star tracks. Though the photo doesn't show it, the actual Perseid was pretty impressive, according to photographer Darren Kirby:
Despite a winning forecast the afternoon was quite overcast, and I was afraid viewing it may be a bust. However, at about 8:00pm the skies cleared, so [friends] and I took a drive up to Sunset Main Road near the Coquihalla Connector summit to check it out. We were there from about midnight til about 2:00am, and we did see an incredible show. Apparently it wasn't as good as some years, but I was still very impressed. The meteors were shooting off every few seconds or so at times. One was so big it lit up the sky like lightning, and left a tracer than remained in the sky for a good minute.
Via Asteroid Watch
Image used via CC license.
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.