Perseid Meteors over Ireland 2015

Perseid Meteor Shower over Ireland 2015 Perseid Meteor Shower over Ireland 2015 ┬ęDarren McLoughlin

Since at least 36AD when Chinese astronomers first noted the annual light show that is the Perseid meteor shower, people have been watching the spectacular night sky in August each year.

Earth passes through the dust and debris left by the comet Swift-Tuttle as it travels through our solar system on its 133-year orbit around the sun. As the small particles enter Earth's atmosphere they burn up approximately 80km above the surface of our planet. In doing so they create bright, colourful streaks across the sky. If it is night time and if the moon isn't bright like this year then the Perseids are a wonderful sight.

Unfortunately for Ireland, 2015's major activity is occurring before sunset but tonight there was a lovely bright clear sky over the Emerald Isle and there was plenty of action after dark. It was good for astrophotography and astronomy.

Here is an image of the Milky Way with two meteors streaking across the night sky, moving from the left side of the image looking colourful and bright.

Just after sunset, while the sky was still bright we had an appearance of the International Space Station (ISS) moving fast and shining bright in the sky before entering the Earth's shadow, it's the long bright streak in the image below.

The meteors are called Perseids because they appear to originate from the constellation Perseus. Perseus was a Greek mythological hero who sorted out the snake-haired Medusa.

All in all it was a great night for astrophotography, especially given the celestial display. Some light pollution brightened and coloured the sky on one side of my location but overall it was a bright and starry night.

Internation Space Station (ISS) passing through the night sky over Ireland

 

As I was still watching and photographing the meteors, bodies that appear at random so there can be a flurry of activity or just one every few minutes and perhaps in a different part of the sky to where the camera and photographer's eye are trained, the stray cat that has befriended me in recent weeks arrived on the scene to hang out and watch some of the activity with me. Well, maybe he was more interested in the long bright flash of a mouse tail as it hurried past but it was a pleasant few moments with my new friend whom I have written of in the past here.

The Landscape Photographer's Cat viewing the night sky in Ireland

 

A coldish night makes looking up at the sky all the more difficult. After an hour or so of neck-tilting in cold, damp weather photography gets a little more difficult but with a beautiful sunset, clear skies on an important night it was well worth venturing and staying out of doors.

Panoramic Ireland create photography experiences for all levels throughout Ireland, from astrophotography to street photography. Use the contact page to ask for more information.

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