Amazing! Skydivers Turn into ‘Human Meteors’ During the Perseid Meteor Shower
A team of skydivers transformed into shooting stars amid the spectacular sky display.
Joakim Sommer from Norway, Armando del Rey from Spain, and Marco Waltenspiel and Georg Lettner both from Austria, joined the Perseid meteor shower not with the usual crowd of stargazers: they jumped from an airplane over La Palma, Canary Islands off the northwestern coast of Africa suited up in LED wingsuits to become human meteors.
"The experience has been amazing," Sommer said in a statement.
"It literally felt like I was in a videogame. I was in this black tunnel and there was nothing else besides all those billions of stars in my face. It was a really unique visual because you could really feel the speed, but you have no other surroundings. You are just in pitch black; it is like you are out there in the outer space. It's crazy, it was literally crazy."
According to the skydivers, the stunt, which was sponsored by energy drink brand Red Bull, was a tribute to the Perseids, also known as "tears of Saint Lawrence."
The skydivers jumped in total darkness at an altitude of 1,800 meters and flew at a speed of 170 kilometers per hour above the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, which is where the Gran Telescopio de Canarias - the world's biggest optic telescope - is located.
The team jumped above La Palma, also known as "La Isla Bonita", from the T-21 aircraft, with the help of the Air Force, the Canarian Institute of Astrophysics and La Palma City Hall.
The jump was also the team's way of showing their support and gratitude to the firefighters who battled a great fire in La Palma in July.
The Perseid meteor shower happens every year when the Earth crosses the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle, passing through the debris from the comet's tail. The debris streak across the Earth's atmosphere, creating the meteor shower that is seen now.
This year's meteor shower peaked on Aug. 11 and 12, and had been particularly special as the meteors appeared double the usual rate for the first time since 2009, at about 200 meteors per hour.