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    Perseids meteor shower to peak August 12

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    Originally published on August 9, 2013

    The Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak on August 12, then will peak again on August 13th. Most visible in the darkest hours before sunrise, the Perseids meteor shower is the most active annual meteor shower. As the Earth passes through the debris field of the Swift-Tuttle comet, the number of visible fireballs from meteorites will increase to 90 per hour.

    Swift-Tuttle is the largest solar system object that the Earth comes in near proximity to other than the Moon. The comet's nucleus is 25 kilometers in diameter and it takes 133 years to complete a single orbit. It was named for the two astronomers who sighted it in July 1862, but the meteor shower from its ejected debris has been observed for over two thousand years.


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