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August 9, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Weekend brings best look at Perseid meteor shower

The Perseid meteor shower is named after the Perseus constellation because it appears to radiate from it. (NASA Science News)

The Perseid meteor shower is named after the Perseus constellation because it appears to radiate from it. (NASA Science News)

Earth is passing through a cloud of debris from the Swift-Tuttle comet, as it does each August, granting Earthlings views of meteor showers shooting through the night sky, according to NASA. The ice and dust from the comet’s debris create the Perseid meteor shower when they burn up in the atmosphere.

Stargazers will have the best chance to view the phenomenon this weekend and Monday, according to NASA, and early Monday morning before dawn is especially good. The best way to see meteors is far away from artificial light, lying on your back looking up at the sky.

On Saturday, Crystal Mountain is offering gondola rides to view the meteors from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., as well as an outdoor astronomy talk after dark.

NASA has a live broadcast of the sky over Marshall Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. and will have a live chat  from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday.

The name of the meteor shower comes from the constellation Perseus, from which the meteors appear to radiate.

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