Adirondack Sky Center
Tupper Lake, New York
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Astro Quiz 41: Perseid Meteor Shower Cause?

Question #41 – The Perseid meteor shower peaks late tonight and tomorrow night (August 12-13). What causes this meteor shower?

Answer:

Meteor showers are usually caused by the Earth moving through the debris left behind by comets as they orbit the Sun. The Perseid meteor shower occurs every year on or around August 12 as the Earth passes through debris left behind from comet Swift-Tuttle, which last passed close to our Sun and the Earth in 1992.

Look to the northeast after midnight for the best view.


Perseid meteors seem to streak away from the constellation Perseus (upper left in the photo above)
Photo credit: Tunç Tezel

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