Perseids Meteor Shower: When to Watch the Dazzling Show

Get ready for the annual show in the sky this week when the Perseids Meteor Shower takes center stage.

ByAlyssa Newcomb
August 10, 2015, 1:27 PM

— -- Get ready for the annual show in the sky this week when the Perseids meteor shower takes center stage.

The meteor shower is expected to reach its peak early Thursday at 4 a.m. ET when as many as 100 meteors per hour will be visible streaking across the sky.

The Perseids meteor shower is the result of space debris from the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet striking the Earth’s atmosphere. For the best viewing, NASA recommends looking toward the constellations Cassiopeia and Perseus in the northeastern part of the sky.

The Perseids have been observed for at least 2,000 years and are associated with the Swift-Tuttle comet orbiting around the sun once every 133 years. The Earth passes through a cloud of the comet’s debris each year in August, according to NASA, causing small bits of comet dust to enter our atmosphere at 37 miles per second.

The light show is caused when the dust disintegrates, creating the gorgeous bright streaks that light up the sky.

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