August 12th marks the day that some of us will head outdoors and view the Perseid meteor shower.

In this video, Rita Carls of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education explains what the Perseids meteor shower is, when and where to view and the difference between meteors, meteorites and meteoroids.

On Aug. 12th, get up before dawn to view the comet Swift Tuttle’s trail of debris stretching to orbited by specks of dust. A tiny speck of dust makes a steak of light which is a meteor.

A meteoroid is a small piece of comet left behind from comets living in the outer reaches the of solar system.

Most comets sweep out long eliptical orbits spanning hundreds of years, however, some are impacted by gravitational orbits like Halley with an orbit every 75 years.

Difference between meteor, meteoroid and meteorite

A meteor is commonly referred to as a shooting star, or the visible event due to the heat of pressure during atmospheric pressure during entry.

A meteoroid – solid object moving in interplanetery space, smaller than asteroid larger than atom, or a small sand to boulder sized particle of debris.

A meteorite is a portion of meteroid that impacts ground w/o being destroyed, or a portion of a meteroid.

Perseids Meteor Shower

Swift Tuttles will first rise in the Northeast.

Jupiter and the Moon will converger on August 11th in Sagittarius and will even be visible in light polluted cities. The moon will set on the 12th and leave behind a dark sky for viewing the Perseids showers.

Perseids will fill the sky with thousands of stars falling from they sky all night long. While the brightest showers will be visible in even light polluted cities, the best viewing of hundreds of meteors will really be visible only from the country side.