It’s time for the best meteor shower of the year: The Perseids

In Science

1.It’s time for the best meteor shower of the year: The Perseids

You may not realize this, but we get meteor showers as a result of comets. Comets, like planets, orbit the sun. As they do this, gas and dust are lost from the comet, escaping into space, giving it its tail.

As Earth orbits the sun, it intersects the path of a comet. In the case of the Perseids, we pass through 109P/Swift-Tuttle’s orbit. This comet has an orbital period of 133 years. But the debris hangs around space for a long time.

Now, because Earth is orbiting the sun at a speedy 108,000 km/h it plows into the debris which in turn burns up in our atmosphere, producing the lovely meteors we see.

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