The Perseid meteor shower peaks tonight, but the Moon is going to spoil the fun

Perseid Meteor Shower 2019

Photo by Bob Riha Jr. / Getty Images

On the evening of August 12th and early on August 13th, the Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak, with streaks of light zooming across the skies up to once every minute or so. Unfortunately, stargazers may have a tough time seeing these shooting stars this year, thanks to the light of our pesky Moon.

The Perseid meteor shower occurs every August whenever Earth passes through the tail of a comet called Swift-Tuttle, a big rock about 16 miles (26 kilometers) across that orbits around the Sun. As Swift-Tuttle zooms through space, the Sun heats up the icy comet, causing a bunch of loose material like pebbles and dust to fly off. This debris forms a cloud all along Swift-Tuttle’s orbital path around the Sun. The Earth barrels through…

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