2007 Perseid Shower

The annual Perseid meteor shower occurs when debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle intercepts the Earth at a high velocity. This debris is somewhat diffuse, so we see activity for many days on either side of the peak.

2007 Perseids Composite This is a composite image of 284 meteors collected between sunset on August 9 through sunrise on August 13. Since the images were collected over many hours, the radiant of the shower is not in a fixed location. However, because most of the meteors occurred between 4am and dawn, it is possible to detect the radiant in the image. I didn't analyze every meteor in this image; it is likely that about 20 of these meteors are sporadic events unrelated to the Perseid shower.

Long string-like images are stars or planets captured as they traveled across the sky over many hours. Activity was normal this year, although it appeared somewhat stronger because there was no interfering moonlight.

See a streaming video (3.4 MB) of all four days' events.

This graph plots the distribution of meteors over the four evenings. You can clearly see the gradual increase in activity each day, as well as the hourly increase towards each dawn, when the radiant is directly overhead. The total activity for each night was:

  • Aug 9/10, 45 events
  • Aug 10/11, 62 events
  • Aug 11/12, 56 events (clouds before 1am probably reduced count)
  • Aug 12/13, 121 events

2007 Perseid Distribution


© Copyright 2007, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.