Kenneth Brandon from southern California filmed a stunning time-lapse of the famous Perseid meteor shower that has to be seen to be believed.
The amateur astronomer shot around two hours of footage overlooking Mammoth Mountain, California, and condensed it down to four minutes.
Posting the video on August 16, the peak of the meteor display, he said: “I was so excited to capture the first one, and I couldn’t believe I captured over 65 meteors.”
Brandon works as a director of engineering, but turns to astronomy on nights and weekends; his dedicated astronomy YouTube channel has more than 30,000 subscribers.
He said: “To get videos of meteors it is extremely difficult and takes specialized equipment with very sensitive sensors. Most cameras have sensors that can go up to 3,200 or even 6,400 ISO [International Organisation for Standards]. The footage I captured was shot at 256,000 ISO.”
The annual Perseid meteor shower is caused by debris falling from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle and burning up when it comes into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere.
The meteors are called Perseids because they seem to dart out of the constellation Perseus.
Brandon said: “This year’s shower was better than usual because the peak was next to a new moon allowing for darker skies.”
In 2018, the Perseid meteor shower is visible from July 17 to August 24.
Brandon gave advice to budding photographers looking to capture the celestial event next year, saying: “I’d start with long exposures of the night sky. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube on how to start.”