The Perseid meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle as it swings through the inner solar system and ejects a trail of dust and gravel along its orbit. When the Earth passes through the debris, specs of comet-stuff hit the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and disintegrate in flashes of light. Meteors from this comet are called Perseids because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus.
Last year, this meteor shower peaked during a bright “supermoon”, so visibility was reduced. Luckily, this year, the show was especially awesome because the Moon is nearly new when the shower peaked on Aug. 12-13, 2015.
In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower Aug. 13, 2015, in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.
Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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