Major meteor shower action last night, more to come

Major meteor shower action last night, more to come

The days-long fireball fiesta is expected to peak this evening with an estimated 80 shooting stars per hour at its height.

Perseid meteors, caused by debris left behind by the Comet Swift-Tuttle, normally fly by at a rate of over 60 per hour.

This year, the meteor shower will peak in the night between Monday, August 12 and Tuesday, August 13.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associated administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, tweeted: "Get outside tonight and catch the annual Perseid Meteor Shower".

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As mentioned above, the further north you are, the better your chances of seeing a meteor will be. You will need to be keen though - the best viewing time is between 3am and dawn. The comet, by the way, doesn't come by Earth very often - once every 133 years.

I saw several friends on Facebook talking about watching the meteor shower last night. Earlier reports put this year's activity at about 50 meteors an hour. Those grains of sand and rock fall into and burn up in the upper atmosphere, creating streaks of light.

This time-lapse shot of the Perseid meteor shower over Salmon Arm shows the busy night sky with the city below.

According to NASA, the number of shooting stars could drop as low as 15 to 20 due to a Waxing Gibbous Moon at around 90 percent illumination.

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