Partner Series

 

 Plenty of meteors — including some fireballs — are visible over Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in this photo by astrophotographer Sergio Garcia Rill. He captured these meteors during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower on Aug. 12, 2018.
Plenty of meteors — including some fireballs — are visible over Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in this photo by astrophotographer Sergio Garcia Rill. He captured these meteors during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower on Aug. 12, 2018.
Credit: Sergio Garcia Rill

Brilliant displays of Perseid meteors lit up the heavens this past weekend as the annual Perseid meteor shower reached its peak.

 

Skywatchers across the Northern Hemisphere had the best views of the Perseid meteor shower, which produced around 60 to 70 "shooting stars" per hour over the weekend. The shower peaked overnight on Sunday (Aug. 12) and early into Monday morning (Aug. 13). 

Because the meteor shower's peak arrived just after the new moon on Saturday (Aug. 11), the dark "moonless" sky provided excellent conditions for spotting meteors in the night sky. [Photos: Amazing Perseid Meteor Shower Displays]

 

 

Astrophotographer Stojan Stojanovski captured this photo of a fireball during the Perseid meteor shower in August 2018.
Astrophotographer Stojan Stojanovski captured this photo of a fireball during the Perseid meteor shower in August 2018.
Credit: Stojan Stojanovski

As Perseid meteors dashed across the sky throughout the night, skywatchers were treated to the occasional fireball meteor. Fireballs are large meteors that explode with bright, green light as they enter Earth's atmosphere.

At Galičica National Park near Ohrid, Macedonia, astrophotographer Stojan Stojanovski captured a Perseid fireball as it lit up the starry sky above a serene mountain landscape. "Near the big puddle where animals drink water, we started shooting around 11 p.m. local time," Stojanovski told Space.com. "It was a good night with very good number of meteors per hour."

Watching the meteor shower outside Las Vegas, astrophotographer Tyler Leavitt spotted a pink-and-green Perseid meteor crossing in front of the Milky Way — and pointing toward Mars. 

 

A Perseid meteor, Mars and the Milky Way light up the night sky in this photo taken near Las Vegas by Tyler Leavitt overnight on Aug. 12-13, 2018.
A Perseid meteor, Mars and the Milky Way light up the night sky in this photo taken near Las Vegas by Tyler Leavitt overnight on Aug. 12-13, 2018.
Credit: Tyler Leavitt

The Red Planet, which is still bright in the sky following its close approach to Earth on July 31, continues to offer spectacular views in the night sky. While waiting for the Perseids to make an appearance over southern Idaho, photographer Catherine Oostdyk snapped a view of her son Benjamin patiently scanning the skies. No meteors are visible in the photo, but the image does show Mars, the biggest and brightest object in the sky. 

Although much of the U.S. was unable to see the meteor shower due to cloudy weather and smoke from wildfires, skywatchers in Europe were blessed with clear skies. In Italy, Gianluca Masi, an astrophysicist with the Virtual Telescope Project, hosted a live webcast of the Perseid meteor shower from Castel Santa Maria. Masi told Space.com that the meteor-spotting event "went very well, and we could see tons of stars and many Perseids."

 

Benjamin Oostdyk patiently waits for early Perseid meteors while camping with his family in Idaho in this photo taken by his mother Catherine a few days before the peak of the Perseid meteor shower of 2018. Mars is visible as the bright orange object at left.
Benjamin Oostdyk patiently waits for early Perseid meteors while camping with his family in Idaho in this photo taken by his mother Catherine a few days before the peak of the Perseid meteor shower of 2018. Mars is visible as the bright orange object at left.
Credit: Catherine Oostdyk

While the meteor shower's peak has passed, the Perseids haven't left us just yet. Some meteors will still be visible until the end of August. The next major meteor shower will be the Orionids, which peak on Oct. 21-22.

 

Several Perseid meteors dash across the sky above Italy's Castel Santa Maria in this photo by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project taken during the peak on Aug. 12-13, 2018.
Several Perseid meteors dash across the sky above Italy's Castel Santa Maria in this photo by astrophysicist Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project taken during the peak on Aug. 12-13, 2018.
Credit: Gianluca Masi/Virtual Telescope Project

<>Editor's note: If you have an amazing meteor shower photo you'd like to share with Space.com and our news partners for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.