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The science behind tonight’s Perseid meteor shower

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It's time for the annual Perseid meteor shower! Here's what causes the light show each year and why this year's shower will be more plentiful than most.

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Perseids meteor shower comet Swift-Tuttle debris particles light night sky August NASA orbit Sun comic sudden tense affecting breathtaking climactic dramaturgic dramaturgical effective electrifying emotional expressive farcical histrionic impressive melodramatic powerful sensational spectacular startling striking suspenseful the histrionical The art system skill lore branch wisdom ignorance disorder ability accomplishment address aestheticism capacity civilization class courtesy cultivation delicacy dignity discrimination dress elegance elevation enlightenment erudition experience fashion finish gentility good taste grace improvement kindness learning manners nobility perception polish politeness practice proficiency refinement savoir-faire science tact training urbanity apprenticeship background book learning brainwashing breeding catechism coaching culture direction discipline drilling edification guidance inculcation indoctrination information learnedness literacy nurture pedagogy preparation propagandism proselytism reading rearing scholarship schooling study teaching tuition tutelage tutoring bookishness brains intellectuality knowledge letters pedantry savvy scholarliness studiousness advice ammo break chapter and verse clue confidence counsel cue data dirt dope dossier earful illumination info inside story instruction intelligence leak lowdown material message network notice notification orientation propaganda report scoop score tidings tip what's what whole story word accomplishments acquaintance apprehension attainments awareness cognition comprehension consciousness discernment doctrine dogma education expertise facts familiarity goods grasp insight judgment know-how light observation philosophy picture power principles recognition substance theory acquirements literature research SCIENCE! 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LIGHTS Light Lights gloom dark dim black light day sense caliginosity darkness dead of night dimness dusk duskiness evening midnight murk murkiness night nightfall nighttime obscurity opacity semidarkness shade shadows twilight witching hour dimday dimmet eventide gloaming sundown sunset after dark late night-loving nightly afterglow afterlight crepuscular light decline early evening ebb end half-light last phase late-afternoon brink evening before threshold verge vigil bedtime nocturnal eve Night Nights nights NiGHTS lid welkin azure vault heavens earth blast breath breeze draft ozone puff sky stratosphere troposphere ventilation waft whiff wind zephyr air envelope pressure substratosphere absence ambit amplitude area bit breadth compass country mile expanse extension extent far piece farness gap good ways hinterland horizon lapse length objective orbit outpost outskirts provinces purlieu purview radius reach remoteness remove scope separation size space span spread stretch sweep way width empyrean the blue the skies wild blue yonder Arcadia Canaan Elysium Promised Land Shangri-la Zion afterworld atmosphere beyond bliss dreamland ecstasy enchantment eternal home eternal rest eternity fairyland felicity firmament glory great unknown happiness happy hunting ground harmony heights hereafter immortality kingdom kingdom come life everlasting life to come next world nirvana paradise pearly gates rapture transport upstairs utopia wonderland bail out barge bob bounce bound buck canter caper clear curvet dive drop fall gambol hop hurdle hurtle jerk jiggle jounce lollop lop lunge lurch parachute plummet pop quiver rattle ricochet saltate shake skip somersault surge take top trip waver wobble distance heaven jump Sky grand eminent exalted lofty lordly pompous regal stately superb undignified august conventional imposing liturgical mannered ritualistic solemn studied stylized adulatory affable aristocratic ceremonious chivalrous civil civilized complimentary cultured decorous 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morn morning phosphorescence radiance radiation ray refulgence scintillation sheen shine sparkle splendor sunbeam sunrise sunshine taper torch window heat light Sun
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