The 2020 Perseid meteor shower is still going strong: How to watch the show

Some 2019 Perseids, as seen from Macedonia.


Spaceweather.com/Stojan Stojanovski

It’s mid-August, which means the annual Perseid meteor shower is active, and will be until Aug. 24. The Perseids are one of the best, brightest batches of shooting stars, and it feels like we could really use them now to add a bit of wonder and distraction into these pretty dismal times we’re living through.  

This famous shower comes around this time every year as the Earth drifts through a debris cloud left behind by the giant comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. Bits of dust, pebbles and other cosmic detritus slam into our atmosphere, burning up into brief, bright streaks and even the occasional full-blown fireball streaking across the night sky. 

Technically, the 2020 Perseids peaked on the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 11 and morning of Wednesday, Aug. 12, but that doesn’t mean the show is over. Far from it, actually. 

The popularity of the shower is a combination of the fact that it’s one of the strongest, with up to 100 visible meteors per hour on average, and it’s coinciding with warm summer nights in the northern

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Stimulus check 2 update: How fast can the IRS send a payment? Here are some possible dates

A second stimulus check is being worked on, but the payment schedule is still unknown. We break down some likely scenarios.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The timeline of when you might get your next stimulus check is less certain now that talks over another economic relief package are on hold. The debate is less over the total $1,200 upper limit for people who qualify and more about the total size of the package and additional aid. (Here’s how the current proposal, called HEALS, compares to the previous stimulus bill.)

If and when Republican and Democratic leaders are each willing to compromise — and here are five reasons we think that might happen — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that he can get it sent out faster than the first stimulus check.

So when will that happen? That all depends on when both sides renew serious negotiations. But the initial hope after comments over the weekend that there could be talks this week seem less sure now. If negotiations begin again and a deal is made, we’ve calculated some possible dates you could get your first check — assuming it happens.

This story was recently updated with new information.

Read More View More Stimulus check 2 update: How fast can the IRS send a payment? Here are some possible dates

Stimulus check: How the first payment’s fine print on income limit, eligibility could affect the next

There’s a lot to know about the round of IRS stimulus payments authorized by the CARES Act.


Sarah Tew/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Congress could still pass a second stimulus payment of up to $1,200 for qualifying Americans, but talks for a new economic relief package are currently at a standstill and are complicated by a series of executive actions of questionable legality signed by President Donald Trump on Saturday. 

“If we can get a fair deal, we’re willing to do it this week,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday, signaling that an agreement is still possible.

If a final deal becomes law, we can look at the first round of stimulus checks to glean some clues as to how long it will take for payments to arrive, whether it will be taxable on your 2020 return, who qualifies and what your rights are with regard to the money. The GOP-backed HEALS Act borrowed from the CARES Act guidelines for a new direct payment, so they could be similarly structured and sent out faster than last time.

If you were expecting to get the

Read More View More Stimulus check: How the first payment’s fine print on income limit, eligibility could affect the next

Stimulus check eligibility: How the requirements could change with a new relief bill

The final proposal for who may or may not qualify for a second stimulus check is coming into focus.


Sarah Tew/CNET

President Donald Trump intended his executive action over the weekend to offer some of the financial support the next stimulus bill would have provided. But when negotiations stalled, his team drafted up executive orders that focused on a few key areas, leaving plenty for room for a larger financial rescue package from Congress — including a second stimulus check for as much as $1,200 — if the two sides restart talks.

“We’ve agreed on more direct payments, like we sent last time,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday. The HEALS Act advanced by the Republican-led Senate 

Here’s how each side’s proposal for the next stimulus bill compares. Keep reading to see if you might fall into the eligibility requirements that are likely to be imposed in a final bill (again, if there is one). This story updates frequently.

Who would get a stimulus check if the HEALS Act is passed?

There may be continued discussions over stimulus relief in the coming week. If the HEALS Act becomes law, it would largely

Read More View More Stimulus check eligibility: How the requirements could change with a new relief bill

Stimulus package: If it happens, you’ll get far more than just a second check. The update today

If another stimulus bill passes, here’s what you could get, beyond another direct payment.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Will it happen or won’t it? After President Donald Trump issued three memoranda and one executive order Saturday as an attempt to circumvent the stalemate in Washington’s stimulus package negotiations, the fate of the bill hangs in the balance. But the talks may not quite be finished yet.

“Meet us halfway and we’ll be able to have an agreement that meets the needs of the American people,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday, urging Republican lawmakers to return to the table this week. “We need to come to agreement. We’ve got to meet halfway.”

“We agreed with the Democrats,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said moments later. “We both want to send more checks to the American workers. We wanted to send more PPP to those hardest-hit businesses. We’ve said, let’s pass legislation on the things we agree on.”

One of the areas of overlap is a second stimulus check, but Democrats and Republicans still aren’t on the same page when it comes to how much should be in the enhanced unemployment benefits addressed in Saturday’s executive action.

Below, we look at

Read More View More Stimulus package: If it happens, you’ll get far more than just a second check. The update today

Trump’s executive stimulus orders: When they start, are they legal, what you should know

The president made good on his threat to intercede in ongoing stimulus package negotiations this weekend, issuing actions to cover four key interests.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Following the failure of Democrats and Republicans to agree on another COVID-19 stimulus package by Friday’s self-imposed deadline, President Donald Trump signed an executive order and issued three memoranda Saturday during a high politicized press conference. Trump went on to say he would provide economic relief during the current recession caused by the coronavirus. The executive actions, however, could face legal challenges and have already been sharply criticized by Democratic negotiators.

“Today’s meager announcements by the President show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the top Democrats, said in a joint statement. “We’re disappointed that instead of putting in the work to solve Americans’ problems, the President instead chose to stay on his luxury golf course to announce unworkable, weak and narrow policy announcements to slash the unemployment benefits that millions desperately need and endanger seniors’ Social Security and Medicare.”

Read More View More Trump’s executive stimulus orders: When they start, are they legal, what you should know