Human Comets Soar With Perseids Meteor Shower

Watch four birdmen chase the Perseid meteor shower across the sky of La Palma in the Canary Islands.
The wingsuit flying team with La Palma's spectacular night sky behind them
The athletes under the sky of La Palma © Daniel Lopez/
By Santiago Luna

The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift–Tuttle, which occurs annually in August where up to 500 meteors can be seen in an hour. This year its intensity has been five times brighter than usual. The natural phenonmenon brought Norwegian Jokke Sommer, Austrians Marco Waltenspiel and Georg Lettner and Spaniard Armando del Rey to the Spanish island of La Palma to become part of Le lacrime di San Lorenzo (The tears of Saint Lorenzo). Check out the incredible video below.

© Markus Berger/Red Bull Content Pool

The four athletes wanted to pay tribute to this spectacular astronomical occurrence with their wingsuits. The idea was to be a part of the meteor shower under the cleanest Northern Hemisphere sky — La Palma was the perfect location for this as it's a key location for astronomical observation.

After the sun went down, the birdmen suited up in LED wingsuits and jumped from a C-295 plane belonging to the Spanish Air Force from an altitude of 6,000 feet. From that high up, they achieved speeds up to 105 mph over the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, an observatory with one of the largest telescopes in the world, as they simulated the shooting stars around them.

"It’s been a wonderful experience. I felt like part of a video game. I was inside a black tunnel with thousands of stars on my face. It’s been an incredible vision. You really feel the speed but there is nothing around you. It is like being in space. Crazy!"

Jokke Sommer


We want to acknowledge the big help given by Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Cabildo Insular de La Palma and the Spanish Air Force.

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