Perseid-Kappa Meteors

February 24, 2008


Provided by: P-M Hedén, Clear Skies
Summary authors & editors: P-M Hedén, Stu Witmer 

During the Perseid meteor shower last August, I was fortunate enough to capture a photograph of not just two Perseid meteors but a Kappa Cygnid meteor as well (upper right). These meteors though appearing to prick some of the dense star fields and dust lanes of our Milky Way, in the region of the constellation Cygnus (the Swan), are of course actually piercing the Earth's upper atmosphere.

Hungarian astronomer Nicholas von Konkoly Thege was the first to make note of the Kappa Cygnid meteor shower while observing the Perseids of August 1874. Recent research indicates that, unlike the Perseid meteor shower, which originates from the Swift-Tuttle comet, the origin of the Kappa Cygnids may be an asteroid. The Kappa Cygnids tend to be slower and brighter and seem to come from a different part of the sky than the Perseids.

Photo taken on August 14, 2007 from Riala, Sweden.