A Fireball Over the Grand Canyon Makes Planet Earth Look Extraterrestrial

All Images: Harun Mehmedinovic

If you, like me, are a space nerd living in a city, then you can appreciate the struggle of finding clear skies to watch a meteor shower. But while I couldn’t make it out from under Philly’s omnipresent light pollution umbrella last week, I got a taste of the Perseid meteor shower thanks to the brilliant work of astrophotographer Harun Mehmedinovic.

Mehmedinovic basically has the coolest job in the world. He, along with his shooting partner Gavin Heffernan, travels every week to remote locales around the country, snapping high-resolution photos and time-lapse video footage of the night sky. It’s all part of Project SKYGLOW, a crowdfunded effort to raise awareness of how urban light pollution is swamping out our connection to the revolving expanse of stars and nebulas overhead.


As the annual Perseid meteor shower lit our atmosphere with up to 200 extraterrestrial fireballs per hour, Mehmedinovic caught the action from famous spots across the southwest, including the Very Large Telescope Array and the Mojave Desert. A photo of a fireball streaking above the Grand Canyon gives our planet an almost extraterrestrial beauty, and I dare you to show me something cooler in No Man’s Sky.

Mojave National Preserve, California
Toroweap Overlook, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Very Large Array, New Mexico

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Maddie Stone

Maddie Stone is a freelancer based in Philadelphia.