Bright moonlight from a
Full Moon near perigee
illuminates the night and casts shadows in this
skyscape from central Iran.
Taken on August 12, near the peak of the annual
Perseid meteor shower the exposure also captures
a bright and colorful perseid streak above the shady tree in the foreground.
This year the super moonlight interfered with
into the early morning hours, overwhelming the trails from many
fainter perseids in the shower.
Brighter perseids like this one were still visible though,
their trails pointing back
to the heroic constellation
Perseus outlined at the right.
Swept up as planet Earth orbits
through dust left behind from periodic comet Swift-Tuttle,
the cosmic grains
that produce perseid meteors
enter the atmosphere at nearly
60 kilometers per second,
heated to incandesence
and vaporized at altitudes of about 100 kilometers.
will flash through dark skies under a New Moon.
The outline of Perseus in the picture is close, but not quite right.
A corrected version is