“Peaking late Saturday night and before dawn Sunday this year, the Perseids occur when Earth and the moon pass through a cloud of rocky particles shed by comet Swift-Tuttle.

Hitting the atmosphere at speeds of almost a hundred thousand miles (160,000 kilometers) an hour, the meteoroids burn up, producing streaks of light—meteors, or shooting stars—each lasting just a fraction of a second.

In dark, cloudless areas, the first meteors should become visible around 10 p.m. local time, with rates increasing through the night, eventually reaching a rate of one or two shooting stars per minute before dawn.” (National Geographic).