Young astronomer films stunning meteor

Matthew Henry and Matt Khoury
5:46pm August 15, 2013
August 15, 2013: An amateur astronomer filmed this meteor as it briefly lit up the sky above Canberra during the Perseid meteor shower.

A budding astronomer has captured incredible video of a meteor turning night into day while burning up in the sky above Canberra.

Macarthur resident Bradley Sommerauer awoke on Wednesday morning and checked his camera – a routine he has repeated many times.

But the 20-year-old astronomy enthusiast wasn’t prepared for what he discovered when he checked the footage.

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"I was shocked, I was really surprised," he told ninemsn.

"The camera is there for that exact reason, to catch a meteor. I've filmed a few but I've never got one of this scale."

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The video shows a small ball of light explode spectacularly as the meteor burns up.

Astronomers say Australia is currently experiencing an upsurge of meteor activity with stargazers reporting sightings across the country.

Anglo-Australian Telescope head of science, Andrew Hopkins, said the earth is orbiting through the Perseids right now, "which is spectacular space junk".

"Right now we can see shooting stars, particularly outside the city, that are pretty to watch," he said.

"It's remnants left over from comets, and as they get closer, they leave behind a debris trail."

Mr Sommerauer's first major meteor sighting has already won him some international acclaim, with a Japanese science group using the footage to aid their research.

Author: Matthew Henry, Matt Khoury, Approving editor: Nick Pearson

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