Meteor shower to light up skies tonight

I remember this shower last year, and was gravely disappointed. However, if you’re the astronomer type, have fun!

Tonight and tomorrow night mark peak viewing for one of the most prolific and awe-inspiring annual meteor showers visible on Earth, the Perseids, which will rise from the northeast beginning around 10 p.m. This year’s Perseid meteor shower peaks on the night of Aug. 12, and should produce a display of at least 80 meteors an hour during that peak, according to NASA.

The moon is expected to set early in the evening across North America, darkening the sky for better viewing. The best viewing time in central North America is between midnight and dawn central time, reports staff at the University of Texas McDonald Observatory.

The Perseids take place each August as the Earth passes through the debris of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The dust particles light up as they pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, burning up along the way.