The annual Perseid meteor shower reached its peak last week, putting on a fantastic show for stargazers watching the late night skies. To honor the “Lágrimas de San Lorenzo” (Saint Lorenzo’s tears) astronomical event, four wingsuit jumpers from around the world joined together with Red Bull to create a light show of their own.
The team of four skydivers, which included Norwegian Joacim Sommer, Spaniard Armando del Rey, and Austrians Marco Waltenspiel and Georg Lettner, traveled to the Spanish island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. La Palma is best known for the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory, which is home to the world’s largest optic telescope and the background setting for the jump. The quartet loaded up their gear and climbed aboard a T-21 provided with support from the Air Force, the Canarian Astrophysics Institute and La Palma’s City Hall.
Once they arrived at jump elevation, the four skydivers lit up their LED-equipped wingsuits and prepared for an unbelievable nighttime flight in complete and utter darkness. “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,” Sommer said in a statement. “You are just in pitch black; it is like you are out there in the outer space. It’s crazy, it was literally crazy.”
After exiting the plane at 1,800 meters, the team streaked across the sky at an eye-watering 170 kilometers per hour, creating a meteor shower of epic human proportion. A GoPro recorded a bird’s eye view of the stun, while photographers on the ground used long-exposure photography to capture the jumpers as they lighted up the sky. To cap off the event, the four paid tribute to firefighters who recently battled a forest fire in La Palma that burned almost 10,000 acres and required the evacuation of more than 3,000 residents.
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