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 , 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