The Perseid Meteor Shower

Meteors – commonly known as shooting stars or falling stars – are fragments of stone, nickel, and iron from space, which fall through the sky. If you’re in the right place at the right time, it is possible to see a meteor or two on any clear night, especially on dark moonless nights.

On certain special nights, you may see meteors in far greater numbers. This is called a meteor shower. August has long had a reputation for an abundance of meteors. The astronomical highlight of the summer is the Perseid Meteor Shower, which usually peaks from August 11-12 with about 60-100 meteors per hour. This is the most famous of all meteor showers due to its dependability.

Meteors are typically best seen after midnight, but in 2012, with a thin crescent moon rising into the predawn sky, you might want to watch for Perseid meteors in late evening as well. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight.

Learn more about meteors, the Perseid Meteor Shower, and meteor observation tips at

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