STATE – The Perseid meteor shower peaks on Sunday and Monday, giving New Jersey residents the opportunity to look for “shooting stars” if the skies are clear.
The meteors are actually grains of dust left from the passage of Comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years and leaves a debris trail in its wake. Those bits of dust burn up in the earth’s atmosphere when the Earth crosses the comet’s debris stream, creating bright streaks of light in the summer sky.
The Perseid meteor shower, which is named because the meteors appear to come from the constellation Perseus, could result in an average of 70 meteors per hour at its peak. The best viewing times come after midnight on Sunday and Monday, after the half moon sets.
And if the skies are cloudy or there is too much light pollution where you live, NASA will host a live online broadcast at http://www.nasa.gov/connect/chat/perseids_2013.html
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