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Oscar time for the sky

August 2006: Long, mild nights and fast-moving meteors make August the perfect month for soaking up a sky full of stars during camping trips ans star parties.
Swift "shooting stars" make their annual return in mid-August. The Perseid meteor shower peaks the night of August 12/13, when you should see some 30 meteors per hour.

Through the ages, Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle has spread motes of dust along its orbit as it passed through the inner solar system. When Earth sweeps through this band every year in mid-August, the dust burns up from friction with the upper atmosphere. The entry speed clocks in at a blistering 37 miles per second, giving rise to the Perseids' bright flashes.

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