Ads are being blocked

For us to continue writing great stories, we need to display ads.

Un-block Learn more


Please select the extension that is blocking ads.

Ad Block Plus Ghostery uBlock Other Blockers

Please follow the steps below


A Space-Station View of 2016's Perseid Meteor Shower

Not many people get to watch shooting stars from above.

Consider yourself lucky if you looked up to catch this year’s extremely active Persied meteors—or luckier still, if you looked down to see them tracing fiery streaks over a darkened planet.

Crew on the International Space Station could do just that last week when the shower hit its peak. This August 10 video from NASA and Japan’s Planetary Exploration Research Center shows, at 0:06 and 0:16, two Perseids burning up above Pakistan. (No astronauts were ventilated by space pebbles during the recording of this footage.)

Impressive views, as well as not having a sore neck the day after observing a shower, is one of the benefits of working aboard the station. Here are two other meteors spied from the ISS, the first from July 30 and the second from August 2011:

Tomoko Arai/PERC/NASA
Ron Garan/NASA

About the Author

  • John Metcalfe
    John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.