One of the most pleasant treats on a warm summer night is to lie out under a starry sky and try to see a few shooting stars, or meteors. Luckily, right now is a great time to try to see meteors in the night sky.Any night this week you will have a good chance of seeing the annual Perseid meteor shower. These objects are tiny bits of rock and debris from an old comet, which is named Swift-Tuttle after the astronomers who discovered it in 1862.
Every year in early August, Earth passes through the comet Swift-Tuttle's orbit and sweeps up some of this debris. As the tiny rocks encounter the thin upper atmosphere of the Earth, the air is heated to incandescence and we see a rapid streak of light.
Sources: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Space.com, NBC News
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