Perseid Meteor Shower 2011: What Happened While You Slept

on August 15 2011 6:44 AM

The Perseid Meteor Shower is an annual meteor shower observed for at least 2,000 years. It peaked last Friday and was seen all over the sky with the best views happening in the Northern Hemisphere.

Perseids are associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 133 years. Every August, the Earth will through a cloud of the comet's debris. These bits of ice and dust - most more than 1,000 years old - burn up in the Earth's atmosphere to create one of the best meteor showers of the year, NASA said.

This is what happened while you were sleeping.

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011 Reuters

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011

The Perseid meteor shower will reach its peak on Aug. 12, 2013. Reuters

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011 Reuters

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011 Reuters

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011

Perseids Meteor Shower 2011 Reuters

5.Cosmic Collision

An astronomer, Brian Marsden predicted that Swift-Tuttle would hit Earth in one of its future passes. Though there were studies and observations debunking Marsden’s predictions, the near-miss coming has not died down and the astronomer has reiterated that a “cosmic near-miss collision” should be expected in 3044. Skywatcher Carolyne Jackson of Woking, Surrey in England snapped this amazing photo of a Perseid meteor from her backyard during the peak of the 2011 Perseid meteor shower on Aug. 12, 2011. Space.com via Carolyne Jackson