Outer space had a treat for planet Earth this week: The annual Perseid meteor shower transformed the skies into a brilliant light display. The meteor shower happens once per year when Earth moves through particles streaming off the Swift-Tuttle comet, says NASA. That debris passes into our atmosphere and incinerates, creating the glimmering streaks and bursts we humans see down below.
Scientists predicted that Wednesday night into early Thursday morning would be the best time to catch Perseid illuminating the Northern Hemisphere, as a nearly new moon would keep the skies particularly dark — a better backdrop to see the flashes and glints of the shower. Still, New York City got cheated, as our city lights drowned out the views — though some sky-gazers in the area tried to get a (less-than-perfect) glimpse. Here are some photos of Perseid from the week that show Earth’s incredible brush with the universe. There’s still some time to catch the meteor shower tonight, though you’ll probably want to get far, far away from the city.