Wingsuit Fliers Become Shooting Stars
Four jumpers pay tribute to the annual Perseid Meteor Shower with a light show of their own.
Every August a meteor shower treats humanity to an amazing light show. The famous Perseid Meteor Shower is at its height mid-month, when dust from a periodic comet causes shooting stars to rain down.
This year, four wingsuit fliers joined the intense spectacle, jumping from a plane above the Canary Islands with their own lights and sparks.
The crew was made up of Red Bull pilots Joakim Sommer from Norway, Armando del Rey from Spain, and the Austrians Marco Waltenspiel and Georg Lettner. Their plane took off at night on the island of La Palma, reached nearly 6,000 feet, and then the men jumped out in glowing LED wingsuits. Flying at nearly 100 mph, they set off sparklers. From the ground they really did resemble shooting stars.
"I was in this black tunnel and there was nothing else besides all those billions of stars in my face," Sommer told Red Bull. "It is like you are out there in the outer space. It's crazy."
The Canary Islands, which are located off Africa's western coast, tend to be among the best places to see the Perseids because the air is so clean there. Plus, this year the meteor shower promised to be more intense than usual. La Palma also houses an extensive telescope fleet. Only this month a guy lit a piece of toilet paper and caused a blaze that destroyed almost 7 percent of the island.
The Red Bull team said they wanted to show support and appreciation for all the people who fought that blaze. They collaborated with the Spanish Air Force, La Palma's city council, and the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics on the flight, according to Red Bull. It turned into a bright spot in what has been a dark August for the island.
See the wingsuit fliers soar with shooting stars here: