(photo by my friend, Aisyah Areena)
Last summer, I went to see meteor shower the Perseids for the second time since I came to United States. Seeing meteor shower was one of the main reason I wanted to study abroad because we can’t see them in Malaysia as much as we get here. I drove 40 minutes from Vanderbilt to somewhere in Natchez Trace parkway to find a very dark environment to stargaze. It was not only very dark, but it was also very quiet and eerie. The meteor showers lasted for a few hours but during it’s peak. I was mesmerized when I saw something like “firebolts” in the sky and it was the best feeling ever.
The picture was taken with Canon 60D with 30 secs shutter speed on a tripod, f/2.8 and ISO 4000. It took us several shots before getting some real nice ones. And luckily, there was a shooting star that got in our frame during the capture and made the picture even better. However, most of the times my friend and I just ended up lying on the ground while looking up at the sky to enjoy the absolutely calming real-life painting.
Every year during mid July to early August, Earth crosses orbital path of comet Swift-Tuttle and causes the debris of the comets to enter Earth’s atmosphere and becomes visible to our eyes. The Perseids lies in constellation Perseus and was actually named after the Greek term Perseides, coming from the Greek mythology which means the sons of Perseus. There are a lot other meteor showers throughout the year but The Perseids is always anticipated because it could peak up to 60 meteor showers per hour. I also like the Perseids because it usually comes in around 11-13th August (peak) just before Fall semester starts which means I won’t be too busy to go stargazing. In 2016, The Perseids had an outburst where the amount of meteors almost doubled. I am definitely going to see the Perseids again this year during summer and I have planned to stay in Vanderbilt to make sure I get to go see the meteor showers again.
Read more – The Perseids