Perseid Meteor Shower

A meteorite from the Perseid meteor shower above the castle of Holloko, Hungary Credit:PETER KOMKA /EPA
Last night I was up to no good at Winchester Science centre car park near the observatory star gazing for the Perseid meteorites shower. What's that you ask? Well, Perseid meteorites are the long trail of meteorites left by the Swift-Tuttle comet that happened to cut across Earth's orbit, as it orbits the sun itself. And as our planet passes through this trail of debris, the small comet remnants burn up into fireballs as they pass through our atmosphere, causing them to produce the light as we see, shooting across the sky while they fall (because gravity!). However, most of these particles vapourize way before they hit the ground, leaving a trail of afterglow caused by column of ionised gas following the fireball. 

The Perseid meteor shower is said to happen all through-out summer from mid July to late August. But the best to see it is when the earth passes through the densest of the trail, which is between 9-15 August, with the shower at its peak on the 12th of August. Well, this activity isn't particularly rare as it happens annually, but this year scientists say that the gravitational nudge by Jupiter made it more intense.

Now, it was an exciting idea but as it turns out, wasn't quite the very best spot to choose:
A. the peak time was supposedly at 1 in the morning of 12th August 2016.
B. There was a major event called the "Boomtown fair" taking place just a few fields away that unfortunately contributed in a lot of light pollution.

Now we did choose a lovely place, it was mostly dark and we could even see the constellation Cassiopeia (the big W constellation) from where we sat.

Cassiopeia constellation
But due to the Boomtown fair scheduled at the same time, there were laser lights dancing across the sky, making it slightly annoying to have a clear, dark night sky. Anyway, we did still manage to catch a few glimpses of them wonderfully fleating meteorites shooting in the sky, with a "blink-and-miss" speed (literally, as some of us did indeed miss a few while blinking :p)... 

 Now, as you may have guessed, capturing a shooting star in your regular camera is near about impossible and you need to be well equipped to get a decent shot. But it is a great opportunity to get some really sweet pics of something as magnificent as a meteor shower... Naturally, I could not capture any since I do not own any decent DSLR or even a compact camera. Hence, here are some amazing shots from the cosmos enthusiast on the internet who have done a fabulous job :)
Over the northern lights in Sweden... By professional astronomer Göran Strand
Perseid Meteor Shower from Okinawa. Captured by 4earth TV
A fantastic shot by photographer Zach Frailey
Meteor shower at Salisbury
Dramatic meteor shower with timelapse photo
Shooting star at Norfolk