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Best show on Earth: Perseids meteor shower arrives this weekend

For the best show on Earth, look up.

Image

A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky over the village of Kuklici, in Macedonia. The Perseids meteor shower is observed every August when the Earth passes through a stream of space debris left by comet Swift-Tuttle.

Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters

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What NASA calls “the best meteor shower of the year” is arriving this weekend, lightening up the sky with flashes of bright light and color like no other meteor shower seen on Earth.

The Perseids meteor shower – so named for the constellation Perseus (the Greek hero who beheaded the snake-headed Medusa) from which they appear to originate – is expected to peak during the night and early morning hours of August 11th and 12th. 

The Perseids are renowned for their unusually bright and fast meteors, which appear to stain the night sky with long streams of colorful light. It is also one of the most abundant showers, raining through the perceived dome above some 50 to 100 meteors per hour. And, as a bonus, the shower also comes in the summertime, when the nights are warm and its possible to tug a sleeping bag outside and spend the night watching one of the greatest shows on – well, above – Earth.

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