Satellites, planes and comets transit across the night sky under stars that appear to rotate above Corfe Castle, United Kingdom, on Aug. 12, 2016.The Perseids meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle, and appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky.
Satellites, planes and comets transit across the night sky under stars that appear to rotate above Corfe Castle, United Kingdom, on Aug. 12, 2016.The Perseids meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle, and appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky.Dan Kitwood—Getty Images
Satellites, planes and comets transit across the night sky under stars that appear to rotate above Corfe Castle, United Kingdom, on Aug. 12, 2016.The Perseids meteor shower occurs every year when the Earth passes through the cloud of debris left by Comet Swift-Tuttle, and appear to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky.
A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky above Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, early on Aug. 12, 2016.
A view of meteors lighting up the night sky above a wind turbine at 'Saint Nikola' wind park near the Kavarna, some 500km from Sofia, Bulgaria, Aug. 12, 2016.
A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky above the ruins of a church in the Los Alcornocales (cork oak forests) nature park, during the Perseid meteor shower in the ancient village of La Sauceda, near Cortes de la Frontera
A shooting star is seen in the night sky during the Perseids meteor shower in Jankowo, Poland, Aug. 11, 2016.
A composite image made from 726 photographs taken over three hours, showing the rotation of the earth around Polaris, the North Star, in the night sky over Ashton Windmill, Somerset ahead of the Perseid meteor shower, Aug. 10, 2016.
A meteor streaks across the sky in the early morning during the Perseid meteor shower in Ramon Crater near the town of Mitzpe Ramon, southern Israel, Aug. 12, 2016.
A meteor streaks past stars in the night sky above medieval tombstones in Radmilje near Stolac, south of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Aug. 12, 2016.
A Perseid meteor flashes across the night sky above Corfe Castle, United Kingdom, on Aug. 12, 2016.
Meteors streak across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower above Van Lake, in eastern Turkey, Aug. 12, 2016.
A meteor streaks across the sky in the early morning during the Perseid meteor shower in Ramon Crater near the town of Mitzpe Ramon, southern Israel, Aug. 12, 2016.
A meteor moving past stars in the night sky over lake Neusiedlersee near Moerbisch am See, around 70km southeast of Vienna, Austria, early Aug. 12, 2016.
The Perseids meteor shower, Russia, Aug. 12, 2016.
In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower in Spruce Knob, West Virginia, Aug. 12, 2016.
A Perseid meteor streaks across the sky above trees in the central Israeli village of Luzit on Aug. 12, 2016.
Satellites, planes and comets transit across the night sky under stars that appear to rotate above Corfe Castle, United
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Dan Kitwood—Getty Images
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These Are the Best Photos of the 2016 Perseids Meteor Shower

Aug 12, 2016

This week's Perseids meteor shower is slated to be the best of 2016 for viewers in the northern hemisphere. During the event, astronomers predicted that about 50 to 60 meteors would be visible every hour.

The Perseids are an annual occurrence, visible to the naked eye every August, when Earth travels through the debris of an ancient comet called Swift-Tuttle. The debris disintegrates in our atmosphere, creating beautiful shooting stars. The reason they are called Perseids is because, from our perspective, they seem to emanate from the constellation Perseus.

This year, forecasters also predicted a Perseid outburst, a meteor shower with more meteors than usual. Most years, Earth grazes the edge of the debris stream, but this year, Jupiter's gravity dragged the stream closer to us, meaning the Earth passed through closer to the center.

"The meteors you’ll see this year are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago," said Bill Cooke with NASA’s Meteoroid Environments Office. "And they’ve traveled billions of miles before their kamikaze run into Earth’s atmosphere."

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