Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

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Aug. 10 2012 4:27 PM

Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks This Weekend

Hey, space geeks! Brew a pot of coffee, grab the lawn chair and binoculars, and get ready for the annual early morning light show.

This year's Perseid meteor shower is getting under way, and is due to peak late night Saturday and Sunday before dawn. Appearing to radiate from the distant Perseus constellation, the meteors are actually nearby bits of dust that burn up in Earth's atmosphere as we pass through the wake of Comet Swift-Tuttle each year. While the early morning display could offer up to 100 shooting stars an hour, bleary-eyed sky-watchers will, at best, probably only witness around 20, depending on the clarity of their own patch of sky.

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The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

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But, at least in the case of meteor showers, it’s quality over quantity, as each year the patient night owls are wowed by Perseid’s pyrotechnics. And in a universe so vast we will never be able to visit it all, it’s mighty nice when we can catch some glitter from our cosmic neighbor.

Video by Paca Thomas.