Perseid meteors light up the night sky as shower nears its peak

Though this year's Perseid meteor shower won't peak until Thursday night, stargazers with a cloudless view of the early morning sky can see the streaking light show now, says the website Spaceweather.com.

The Earth already is smashing through the debris trail left behind by comet Swift-Tuttle, whose leftovers hit the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and burn out. The number and frequency of meteor strikes should increase as the shower nears its peak.

Worldwide, skywatchers already are reporting numerous sightings.

"According to the International Meteor Organization, observers are now counting as many as 25 meteors per hour during the dark hours before dawn," Spaceweather reports. "It's going to get even better: The shower is expected to peak on August 12 with rates as high as 100 per hour."

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