Look up at the sky tonight; meteor shower to put on light show

08/11/2013 5:22 PM

08/11/2013 5:24 PM

One of the best light shows of the year can be seen Sunday night into early Monday, according to NASA.

The annual Perseids meteor shower will peak Sunday and Monday, promising up to 60 to 70 meteors, or shooting stars, per hour.

The shooting stars will also be visible overnight Monday through Tuesday morning.

The best time to see them is when the moon sets shortly before dawn.

The Perseids are considered the best meteor shower of the year by many. 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 130 years.

Each year in August, the Earth passes through a of the comet’s debris. The fragments light up due to the immense friction created when they plough into the gas surrounding Earth.

Each such fragment is approximately the size of a dime, but the more constant, sporadic meteoroids have been around much longer, breaking down over time into tiny fragments only about as wide as a piece of human hair.

The Perseids can be seen all over the sky, but the best viewing opportunities will be across the northern hemisphere.

If you miss the Perseids, there are plenty of others this year including the Leonids and Geminids.

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