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5 Things to Know About the 2016 Perseid Meteor Shower

Posted at 1:32 PM, Aug 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-06 13:32:38-04

The Perseid meteor shower is upon us! So here 5 things to know about this year's show: 

1. The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks this year on Aug. 11 and 12, with the best viewing after midnight.

2. The Perseids are debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the Sun every 133 years.

3. The shower is one of the very best of the year, usually with 60 or more shooting stars visible every hour. But this year, NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com that peak meteor rates could reach as high as 200 an hour. He said it is the first such outburst since 2009.

4. More meteors are expected this year because the Earth will be moving through a thicker clump of debris from Swift-Tuttle, created partly from the influence of Jupiter's gravity.

5. NASA recommends getting far away from city lights and giving your eyes about 45 minutes to adjust to the darkness. If you're stuck in a big city for the night, NASA will be livestreaming the meteor shower starting at 10 p.m. EST on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12.