10 Photos From Last Night’s Out-of-This-World Meteor Shower

The Perseid is especially strong this year.

Pedro Puente Hoyos/EFE via ZUMA Press

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower peaked last night, and star enthusiasts who caught a glimpse of the spectacle got an extra dose of awe and wonder. Most years, Earth skirts the fringe of the Swift-Tuttle comet’s debris trail, but thanks to an extra gravitational tug from Jupiter that comes into play just a few times each century, we ventured closer to the middle of the trail where debris streams are more prolific. Thousands of meteors were observed slashing through the darkness. In prime conditions, up to 200 shooting stars an hour could be spotted without binoculars or a telescope.

If you slept through the dazzling display, or live in an area rife with light pollution, check out highlights of the brilliant shower below. (And don’t worry—you can still catch the tail end of the shower through August 26.)


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  • Erica Langston was a Ben Bagdikian editorial fellow at Mother Jones. Her work has appeared in The Progressive, Audubon, and High Country News, among other publications. Follow her on Twitter @erica_langston or email her at elangston@motherjones.com.