The Perseid meteor shower reached its peak Sunday night, as leftover pieces from a comet rained down past earth, lighting up the night sky. The meteor shower is believed to have originated from the constellation Perseus, and occurs every summer.

The Perseid meteor shower can usually be visible in the Northern Hemisphere for about a week, though, after it reaches its peak nights, the comets rapidly decrease in occurrence. According to earthsky.org, the Perseid meteor shower occurs when the Earth’s orbit crosses paths with the Comet Swift-Tuttle. The Comet Swift-Tuttle emits various debris (called meteoroids), which enter into the Earth’s atmosphere, bursting into flame, and creating spurts of meteor showers for people around the world to enjoy.

To ensure the best viewing experience possible, one is recommended to find an expanse of land uncluttered by superficial lighting where one can watch the night sky clearly for at least one hour (before dawn is preferable). In the Northern Hemisphere, Perseid meteors are more common, but they are also visible in the Southern Hemisphere, simply not with the same frequency. On peak nights, people can reportedly see up to 50 meteors pass through the night sky per minute. The Perseid meteor shower is quickly coming to an end, and, though peak night occurred Sunday night, Monday night is also expected to be a great night for stargazers.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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