(08/13/2011)
This weekend the Perseid meteor shower will be reaching its peak and can be observed by those who rise early or are willing to stay up all night.

As earth passes through a cloud of debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, bits of ice and dirt—some as old as a 1,000 years—burn up in our atmosphere, causing the celestial event commonly known as a meteor shower.

The Perseid meteor shower has been observed for close to 2,000 years and peaks sometime during the summer months.

This year, the shower will be most visible in the predawn hours of Saturday and will coincide with a full moon, which makes observing the shooting stars difficult.

According to NASA, the full moon will wash out all but the brightest of the meteors. Their rates are estimated to be about 20-30 per hour at most, weather permitting.


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