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Perseid meteors streak across the sky near Rogers Spring in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada in August 2008. The meteor display, known as the Perseid shower because it appears to radiate from the constellation Perseus in the northeastern sky, is a result of Earth's orbit passing through debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle.
The "shooting star"-studded Perseid meteor shower is expected to wow earthlings on Saturday night with hundreds of ancient, vaporized, dust-specks streaking the atmosphere at more then 100,000 miles per hour.
Available to anyone with a clear, dark sky, the only thing keeping you from the show is rampant air and light pollution, and whatever else you may be doing at the time.
This event is ideal star-gazing for the lazy. The Perseids, peaking late Saturday Aug. 11/early Sunday Aug. 12, provide the perfect opportunity to take in heavenly bodies sans telescope or fancy equipment. Seeing as much sky as possible is the goal, and laying down to look up is encouraged.
The Perseids are a fan favorite among celestial groupies, a popularity Senior Editor of Astronomy magazine, Michael E. Bakich, attributes to the annual spectacle's four unique elements: