Perseids: The Best Meteor Shower of the Year

Perseid meteor showers are caused by the debris field of the Comet Swift-Tuttle, which was first spotted in 1864.

    2020/08/05

NSFW    TAIPEI — Perseids are meteor showers that appear to come out of the constellation Perseus every August. The Perseid meteor showers can feature an average of between 60 to 100 shooting stars in the peak hour, according to National Geographic.

Perseids are caused by the debris field of the Comet Swift-Tuttle. This comet was first spotted in 1864 and it treks around the Sun about every 133 years. The comet also leaves behind a trail of debris across Earth's orbit.

The comet's diameter of 26 km is longer than Manhattan at 21 km. This makes Swift-Tuttle the biggest object to repeatedly approach Earth other than the Moon. Space.com reports the comet is expected to come within 1.7 million km of Earth in 3044.

The Earth crosses Swift-Tuttle's debris field in August every year. When fragments of the comet fall into the atmosphere, they burn up and become meteors. According to Space.com, the best time to view the Perseids is during their peak at 2:00 a.m. on August 12, Eastern Daylight Time.



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