Perseid Meteor Shower to Light Up Skies This Weekend

Meteors get their name from ancient greek hero who slayed Medusa.

By Patrick Hickey Jr.
|  Saturday, Aug 10, 2013  |  Updated 10:12 AM EDT
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Perseid Meteor Shower to Light Up Skies This Weekend

Dennis Mammana

The meteors come via the Comet Swift-Tuttle, a grouping of dust grains that circle the sun every 133 years.

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If you've ever wanted to wish upon a star, this weekend would be the time to do it.

The annual Perseid meteor shower will light up the night sky this weekend, peaking Sunday night into Monday morning when skywatchers can expect at least 70 meteors an hour up above. The meteors will travel at speeds of up to 134,000 mph and will streak across the third of the sky, NASA said.

The meteors come via the Comet Swift-Tuttle, a grouping of dust grains that circle the sun every 133 years and get their name from the ancient Greek hero who slayed Medusa.

"The Perseids are the good ones," meteorite expert Bill Cooke of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. told USA TODAY.

If you're feeling extra meteor-ific this weekend, you can even count the number of space rocks that dash through the sky for NASA. The space agency's Meteor Counter app will record time, latitude, longitude and other meteor-tracking info to send directly to NASA researchers for analysis.

Optimal viewing time for the Perseids is midnight to dawn, so you'll have to party like a rockstar to see them.

It'll also be easier to see them away from the city, NASA said.

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