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Irrational Obscurity Meteor Shower Lights the Skies in Comet's Trail BAR-ENDER
Posted by: on Aug 12, 03 | 9:22 pm

Yellowish streaks will light up the sky tonight as the Earth collides with a large dust cloud left behind by a streaking comet.

But the weather and the moon may team up to crash the show.

The annual Perseids meteor shower peaks tonight, said Bill Cooke, a member of the space environments team at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

Perseids usually is a good meteor shower to watch because it occurs in the summer, unlike the Leonids and Geminids meteor showers that occur during colder months, Cooke said. "It's probably the most observed meteor shower of the year. It's always a good one," he said.

Perseids is the debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle. That comet passes around the sun once every 130 years - the last time in 1992 - leaving tiny dust particles as it speeds through the solar system. The Earth and dust cloud cross paths every July and August. The dust particles, most the size of a grain of sand or smaller -burn up as they plow into Earth's atmosphere.

The best viewing time will be between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Wednesday, Cooke said...




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