The Perseid Meteor Shower is back, and according to those who study the heavens, this week's light show should be absolutely amazing.

From the L.A. Times:

The annual August meteor shower is one of the most prolific natural light shows of the year with up to 100 shooting stars streaking across the sky per hour at its peak.


It's also the brightest of the annual meteor showers. In 2013 NASA declared the Perseid meteor shower the "Fireball Champion" because it had the most shooting stars that shone at least as brightly as Venus in the night sky.


This year the meteor watching should be especially good because the shower peaks between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, coinciding with the new moon.

With no moon in the sky, even the dimmest meteors will be visible if you can get yourself far away from man-made light pollution.

"Moonlight is the bane of meteor watchers because bright moonlight washes out faint meteors," said Alan MacRobert, senior editor at Sky and Telescope. "It is nature's own light pollution."

The last time the Perseids peaked at the same time as the new moon was in 2007. 

We have a comet to thank for the upcoming spectacular views. The Swift-Tuttle Comet makes a trip around the sun every 133 years, and as it travels through space, it sheds dust and other materials, leaving a debris ring. Earth travels through a small section of the debris, with the result being bits of cosmic dust hitting our atmosphere at speeds of around 37 miles per second. The crazy thing is that the particles are hardly bigger than a grain of sand, but they hit the atmosphere with such force that they're super-heated and create streaks of light across the sky.

Photographer Jeff Sullivan captured some really cool footage of the Perseid Shower a couple of years ago:

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