Dark skies due to a nearly invisible moon made this year’s Perseid meteor shower an especially star-studded event, astronomers said.
At its peak, up to 100 shooting stars per hour streaked across the sky around the world – more than one a minute.
Viewing was easier this year because the moon’s glow has not interfered with meteor-watching as it was approaching its darkest or “new” phase.
The Perseids – one of the biggest meteor showers we can see – occur every year in the late summer.
Meteor showers happen when the Earth moves through fields of debris floating around in space.
The Perseids come from comet Swift-Tuttle, a big ball of ice and rock that sheds pieces of dusty debris as it orbits around the sun.
When the Earth passes by, those bits get caught in our atmosphere and burn up, creating streaking lights.
The Perseids get their name from the constellation Perseus because the meteors’ paths appear to start out from this point in the sky.