Just after moonrise on August 12 this grain of cosmic sand fell by the sea, its momentary flash part of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. To create the Perseid meteors, dust along the orbit of periodic comet Swift-Tuttle is swept up by planet Earth.
The cometary debris plows through the atmosphere at nearly 60 kilometers per second and is quickly vaporized at altitudes of 100 kilometers or so. Perseid meteors are often bright and colorful, like the one captured in this sea and night skyscape.
Against starry sky and faint Milky Way the serene view looks south and west across the Adriatic Sea, from the moonlit Dalmatian coast toward the island of Brac.
Perseid meteors from the 2016 meteor shower
Normally bright and colorful, the Perseid shower meteors are produced by dust swept up by planet Earth from the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle. They streak from a radiant in Perseus, above the horizon in clear predawn skies.
Frames used in this composite view capture bright Perseid meteors from the 2016 meteor shower set against a starry background along the Milky Way, with even the faint Andromeda Galaxy just above center.
In the foreground, astronomers of all ages have gathered on a hill above the Slovakian village of Vrchtepla.