WATCH | ‘Impressive’ meteor shower and satellite ‘train’ caught on camera
People across the world turned their attention to the night sky when the Perseid meteor shower peaked on August 12 and 13 and so did this one telescope in Hawaii, United States which coincidentally captured an impressive sight.
It just so happens that while the Subaru Telescope in Mauna Kea, Hawaii was recording the ongoing, Perseid meteor shower during its peak also captured a parade of 15 dots moving across the night sky – no this was not a natural phenomenon or alien spaceships – but Space X’s Starlink satellites.
The footage was posted on August 17 on YouTube by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) with the caption, “A group of 15 satellites by SpaceX (STARLINK) passed the evening sky over Subaru Telescope, Maunakea, Hawaii, on Aug 12, 2023.”
“We did a special live streaming of the night sky over the Subaru Telescope at the peak days of the Perseid Meteor Shower. This was the view captured by the live by coincidence. They were fairly bright and impressive,” it added.
The Subaru Telescope is a very large optical infrared telescope and one of the largest monolithic mirrors in the world installed near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, according to the NAOJ website. Therefore, its powerful light-collecting capability can capture weak light from celestial objects.
Perseid meteor shower
According to the American space agency NASA, a Perseid meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through the debris trail from the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle, causing particles left behind by the comet to interact with the atmosphere causing bright streaks of light in the sky.
On August 12 and 13, the Perseids, which orbit the sun every 133 years, streaking across the sky at 60 kilometres per second from mid-July to the end of August, peaked. People from across the world could observe the Perseid meteor shower with the naked eye or through a telescope over that weekend.