James Zanoni via Giphy
It’s the summer event you don’t want to miss: the Perseid meteor shower.
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Every summer, pieces of the comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle break off as it flies through the inner Solar System. As the shards burn up in the atmosphere, they create a stunning nighttime show.
But its peak — when you can see the meteors most clearly — is August 12-13.
This handy guide from NASA charts out Perseid visibility for July and August.
In ideal conditions — a viewing spot from the Northern Hemisphere and no clouds — you could spot up to 50 meteors per hour.
You don’t need a telescope to spot the Perseids. However, it might help to have a camera nearby if you want to capture the spectacular view.
Here are 7 stunning images from the show, past and present:
NASA’s meteor-tracking cameras at the Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona caught their first Perseid of 2021 on the evening of July 25.
Astrophotographer Sergei Lobourenko captured this super bright meteor appearing and disappearing in a flash during a previous shower.
This stunning fireball during the 2018 Perseid shower was captured by astrophotographer Dandan Huang in Yichang, Hubei, China.
Astrophotographer Alan Trow captured this view of a Perseid streaking across the sky over Wales in 2019.
This lone Perseid streaking across the sky was captured by astrophotographer Paul Sutherland during a past shower.
This is what a Perseid meteor looks like from space as it falls to Earth. Astronaut Ron Garan shared this photo from the International Space Station in 2011.
This NASA animation shows Perseids falling towards Earth from different angles.
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