As they do each summer, the annual Perseid meteor showers are about to rain down, offering a spectacular sight for earthling sky gazers. The display, known as the Perseid shower because the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky, is a result of Earth's orbit passing through debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. But talk about luck -- bad luck in this case: the arrival of the Perseids coincides with the August full moon.
Still, you should be able to get a good glimpse at what has been a dazzling display for earthlings over the last couple of millennia. In this 2010 image, a Perseid meteor (upper left) streaks across the sky over a building at the Techatticup Mine in Eldorado Canyon, Nev.
The Perseid shower got its name because it appears to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky. In this 2010 image a Perseid meteor streaks across the sky near Rogers Spring in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area of Nevada.