During this year’s Perseids Meteor Shower, California-based visual design artist Michael Chung caught something interesting on film. As he shot a timelapse video from the high desert of Victorville, California, Chung captured some rare footage of a meteor explosion (at about 00:39).
According to Universe Today, Chung’s stills show a Perseids meteor exploding following by its resulting persistent train, or glowing gas, which is the result of electronics given off due to compression heat. “It happens fairly often but it isn’t so regularly documented,” Chung wrote on Vimeo. He estimates that his timelapse footage of the explosion and its persistent train spans about 20 minutes in reality.
Universe Today writer and observing expert David Dickinson confirmed that Chung’s footage is legitimate. “What cinches it for me is that the meteor was moving in the right direction for a Perseid,” he said. “I see Perseus rising to the right, the plane of the Milky Way and Andromeda just above center.”
To help us better see the explosion, Chung has also created a closer view of the event. Because he shot at a much higher resolution than 720p, he was able to provide two sequences: one consisting of the full frame of each capture reduced and then cropped to 1280×720, the other with the full frame kept at its original resolution but the region around the explosion cropped to 1280×720. Chung included each sequence twice at two different speeds, once at 24fps, the other at around 12fps. We’ve embedded the close-up view below:
Note that the fade to white is not an effect added by Chung – rather, it’s the result of overexposure caused by the sun rising!
Have you ever watched a meteor shower before? What are some of the interesting things you’ve seen while watching the night skies?
[via Laughing Squid]
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