Those of us who live in cities with excessive light pollution (or cloudy skies) are likely to miss out on tonight's peak of the Perseid meteor shower. The annual event happens when Earth passes through the debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun every 133 years. But you can watch it live on the next page of this story tonight.
Tonight should be particularly exciting in the skies of the Northern Hemisphere, as the peak of Perseid is coinciding with a nearly-new moon. According to NASA, "The last time the Perseids peak coincided with a new moon was in 2007, making this one of the best potential viewings in years."
Up to 100 meteors per hour are projected to be viewable late tonight and early tomorrow morning. The debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle consists of dust and ice, and during the Perseid shower those burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, causing one of the most amazing meteor showers of the year. Humans have been observing the Perseid meteor shower for at least 2,000 years, according to NASA.
The video begins at 10 p.m. Eastern time, and will continue until 2 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday. NASA experts will provide commentary, and say the "event will highlight the science behind the Perseids, as well as NASA research related to meteors and comets."