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The Perseid meteor shower is TONIGHT — here’s how to watch it

todayAugust 15, 2021 12

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This Thursday and Friday night, 12–13 August, skygazers in the northern hemisphere will be treated to the return of the annual Perseid meteor shower — one of the best such displays of the year!
On a typical year, skygazers can see 60–100 shooting stars each hour during these annual displays. This offers one of the best chances of the year (weather-permitting) to journey outside and view wonders of the night sky.

Messy Comets and Ravenous Birds

Most of the annual meteor showers are the result of the Earth encountering a stream of debris left behind by a passing comet. The Perseid meteor shower is no exception to the rule.

The Perseid meteor shower results when the Earth moves (nay, barges) into the path of debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle as it passes near the orbit of Earth once every 133 years.

This comet, discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle, is massive — 26 km (16 miles) across — twice the size of the comet which ended the age of the dinosaurs. (However, this event did lead, in part, to a race of occasionally-clever mammals who now work for money to buy bird seed, in order to fill the bellies of ravenous winged beings at bird feeders. So who’s the real winner here? The birds, that’s who).

Credit: Daledbet/Pixabay