Skywatchers gear up for Perseid meteor onslaught
This annual crowd-pleaser -- one of the most spectacular sky shows you'll ever see -- is about to hit its peak.
The annual display is known as the Perseid shower because the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky. It's a result of Earth's orbit passing through debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years.
Unfortunately, this year the Perseids are competing with a full moon. Still, you should be able to get a good glimpse at what has always been a dazzling crowd-pleaser. By the evening of August 12, astronomers expect the meteors will shoot across the sky at a rate of 50 to 80 per hour. Your last chance to see the Perseids will be August 22. Then, it's wait until next year.