Lonely Planet Writer

See stunning images of shooting stars in the Perseid Meteor Shower at its peak last weekend

A photographer has shared a series of striking images depicting this year’s Perseid Meteor Shower at its peak. Taken from the vantage point of Hattoji, a small town north of Okayama that is a famous dark spot for photography, the images show the Perseids, made up of fragments of the comet Swift-Tuttle, streaking across the illuminated night sky above Japan.

The Perseid Meteor Shower taken over Okayama in Japan.
The Perseid Meteor Shower over Okayama in Japan. Image by Trevor Williams

Captured by photographer Trevor Williams last Saturday night, the images feature shades of green and magenta, trademarks of the Perseid meteors. Named after the constellation Perseus, the fragments can pass earth at speeds of up to 59 kilometres (37 miles) per second. While travelling through space, they are designated as “meteoroids” and are called “meteors” only when they reach the atmosphere of Earth. Pieces that make it to Earth are actually called “meteorites”, although most of the Perseids are too small to complete that journey.

The images feature hues of magenta and green, which are trademarks of the Perseids.
The images feature hues of magenta and green, which are trademarks of the Perseids. Image by Trevor Williams

Although meteor showers can light up the sky at different times throughout the calendar year, the Perseids hold a reputation as being one of the most popular events for astro-photographers and sky watchers. The passing of the fragments occur from mid-July through to late August, and it is possible to spot 60 to 100 meteors in one hour under the right conditions at peak time.

A long exposure shot showing star trails and Perseid meteors.
A long exposure shot showing star trails and Perseid meteors. Image by Trevor Williams

“I always look forward to the Perseids. Other night shoots are often done on a whim, whereas this takes place every year. This year we were not able to see a huge amount, but the ones we did see were huge. They ripped across the sky leaving a long hanging trail and were very exciting to witness,” Trevor told Lonely Planet Travel News.

Trevor also offered advice for any budding photographers wishing to capture the night sky, saying that proper research such as checking the weather, moon schedule and where to find the best dark location with some nice scenery is the key to success, as well as fast and wide lenses for shooting.

2017 perseid meteors
The annual event is one of the most popular for astro-photographers and sky watchers. Image by Trevor Williams

Previous shoots taken in Japan by Trevor’s company Tdub Photo include stunning shots of bio-luminescent sea fireflies along the coast of Okayama, and whirling star trails over Chofukuji Temple. More of Trevor’s work is available on his website and Instagram.