The Milky Way and its bright central bulge shines above palm trees at the shore of the Pacific Ocean in a clear winter night of the Cook Islands in the southern hemisphere. © P.K. Chen
Did you know the Milky Way has 100 billion planets and roughly 200-400 billion stars?
NASA Cassini spacecraft passes over Saturn’s northern hemisphere. The infared camera produces different coloring and this camera is vital for determining the structure of the atmosphere on this gas planet.
The summer Milky Way rises above a small lake in this thick forest that blocks the light pollution from nearby towns. Saturn, Mars, and Antares (the alpha star of Scorpius) form a beautiful triangle near the image center. From the photographer: “Lake Bozcaarmut in Turkey is a favorite spot for fishing, camping, barbecue and also stargazing. After the Moon was gone I started this panorama. This was around when Saturn and Mars were closest to us and shining at magnitude 0.0 and -2.0 magnitude. They were 15 degrees apart.” Tunc Tezel
The Galactic Core of the Milky Way rising over a very still Pine Lake with a hit of Aurora Australis on the horizon on the right.
Earth is passing through the Comet Swift-Tuttle from this past July 17th up until August 24th as we rotate around the Sun.The Perseid meteor shower will peak on August 12th 3:00 AM when the Earth passes through the thickest clusters of meteors.
The meteor shower will be visible around the Perseus Constellation around 10PM local time. The meteors will be most visible in the dead of night when the light levels are at their lowest. The moon’s light will also interfere with the shower but will set around 1AM.
Your best bet for viewing the Perseid meteor shower this year is to go to the darkest areas possible. This years higher intensity of meteors per hour of 150 means you will see meteors every 20-30 seconds so be sure to be patient and enjoy the sights.