Perseid meteor shower expected on the nights of August 12 and 13

Once a year, from mid-July to the end of August, the Land goes through a lot of cosmic junk that throws our planet thousands of tiny space rocks no wider than a grain of sand. We call this annual event the rain of Perseid meteors or simply the Perseids.

This year, the Perseids peak in the dark hours between August 11 and 12. Unfortunately, the fact that there is a bright full moon at the same time will tarnish the show.

With an average of 10 to 20 meteors per hour

You may be able to see 10 to 20 meteors per hour during the peak, according to NASA, down from the 50 to 60 per hour visible in a year without a full moon. Still, you should also be able to catch some shooting stars on the nights leading up to the peak.

The Perseids are one of the most popular and consistent meteor showers of the year. They occur every summer as our planet passes through the great tail of debris spewed out by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which made its last close approach to Earth in 1992.

As Earth hurtles through the comet’s rocky, icy remains, small bits of debris fall through our atmosphere, heating up to more than 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,650 Celsius) and streaking across the sky at more than 100,000 mph ( 160,000 km/h), according to NASA.

Most of these tiny meteors burn up in the atmosphere, although a few do crash onto the planet’s surface, earning them the new title “meteorites.”

For the best chance of seeing the Perseids peak, Live Science’s sister site recommends heading to the darkest spot you can find in the pre-dawn hours of August 12 or one of the nights before peak.

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