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Perseids prime the pump

August 2004: The view of the Milky Way in a star-studded sky highlights August nights, although the best sights this month should be of meteoric debris flaring to incandescence.
August 2004
The grandeur of a star-filled sky, viewed on a balmy summer night under a dark country sky, leaves an indelible impression on anyone who sees it. Not coincidentally, our first wishes upon shooting stars often occurred on such back-country sojourns. From late July to late August, Earth sweeps up innumerable interplanetary dust particles and the atmosphere burns them into oblivion, creating silent streaks that slice across the sky.

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