Time-lapse video captures exploding meteor

Claudine Zap

Michael Chung was filming the Perseid meteor shower when the sky rockets in flight became his morning delight: The photographer and artist caught what looks like a meteor exploding in the sky.

The time-lapse video shot early Aug. 12, 2013, in Chung’s backyard in Victorville, Calif., has been burning up the Web since.

Toward the end of the clip, which is less than a minute, the video shows a meteor breaking apart and the subsequent debris ring, or shock wave.

"The fade to white is NOT an edit — it is an overexposure due to the sun coming up. From what I can tell, the time-lapse sequence of the explosion and expanding debris span an actual time of approximately 20 minutes,” Chung told the website Universe Today.

Experts concur. Astronomer and writer Daniel Fischer, who writes the Cosmos4U blog, told Universe Today that Chung captured a Perseid fireball "being torn apart by upper atmosphere wind shear.”

Assistant director of the Morrison Planetarium at the California California Academy of Sciences Bing Quock called the clip a "beautiful example of a persistent train," in an email to Yahoo News. "The Perseid shower, during which this was taken, is known to produce more fireballs, or very bright meteors, than any other, with frequent persistent trains," he added.