Meteor showers

Skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere have been stunned by the annual Perseids meteor shower.

NASA says the Perseids have been observed for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years.

Every August, the Earth passes through a cloud of the comet’s orbital debris and the debris field, consisting of bits of ice and dust from the comet, burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere to create one of the best meteor showers of the year.

The Perseids streak across the sky from many directions, with up to 100 meteors visible per hour. The last time the Perseids peak coincided with a new moon was in 2007, making this one of the best viewings in years.

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