Perseid Meteor Shower Set to Light Night Sky

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REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Astronomy enthusiasts rejoice — one of the best shows of the year starts this evening.

NASA reports that this year’s Perseid meteor shower will reach its height from tonight into Friday, producing estimates of 80 meteors per hour across the pitch-black summer skies.

Why is this one of the best shows? NASA explains that the Perseid meteors are linked to Swift-Tuttle, a comet which runs its orbit around the sun once every 133 years. Every August, Earth makes its way through a gauntlet of the shooting star’s debris. The heat generated from that atmospheric shift creates tip-top conditions for a premium meteor shower.

The Northern Hemisphere has been pegged as the most ideal area of the world to view the celestial happenings. If that doesn’t fit your area, visit for a live web feed and chat with the head of the organization’s Meteoroid Environment Office, Dr. Bill Cooke. Cooke is holding a pre-shower talk on Thursday from 3-4 p.m. Eastern time, as well as a more in-depth discussion from 11 p.m. – 5 a.m. ET while the event takes shape.