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Perseid Meteor Shower Lights Up Night Skies

2015 Perseid Meteor Shower
Aug. 12, 2015 - Cold Creek, Nevada, USA. Photo: David Becker via ZUMA Wire

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.

Germany, August 13, 2015 Photo: Oliver Berg/AFP/Getty Images
11 Aug 2015, Sieversdorf-Hohenofen, Germany Photo: Patrick Pleul/dpa/Corbis
Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Baxter, Iowa Photo: Charlie Riedel/AP/Corbis
Aug. 11, 2015 - Clearlake, CA, USA Photo: Stuart Palley via ZUMA Wire
Bulgaria Photo: Nikolay Doychinov/AFP/Getty Images
13 Aug 2015, Germany Photo: Matthias Balk/dpa/Corbis

Last night/early this morning I drove about an hour outside of Austin alone. Just me and my camera gear. I heard about the Perseid Meteor Shower earlier that day. I've never seen one in my life and couldn't pass up on the opportunity to see one. I spent the end of my work shift looking for locations using Dark Maps (Maps that provide light pollution info). I found a place no too far from where I live. It was an amazing spectacle to see. I was miles away from civilization where it was so dark you could see the Milky Way with the naked eye. I felt at peace. I felt tranquility. An experience in my life I shall never, ever forget. // #IGATX #IGAustinTexas #IGAustin #IGTexas #InstagramTexas #ATX #AustinTX #Austin #VSCO #VSCOcam #Polarr #RNIFilms #Perseid #PerseidMeteor #PerseidMeteorShower #PerseidMeteorShower2015

A photo posted by Clark Terrell (@clarkterrell) on

Photos: Perseid Meteor Shower Lights Up the Sky