A good chance to wish upon a shooting star: Moonlight won't mess up this week's meteor shower



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Stars seen as streaks from a long camera exposure are seen behind Arnotegui Hermitage, in Obanos, northern Spain, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015. The meteor shower is expected to peak Wednesday night into Thursday morning. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)


WASHINGTON — Want to wish upon a shooting star? The skies over the United States are likely to cooperate for a meteor shower overnight Wednesday.

Astronomers say the lack of moonlight will help people see more of the oldest meteor shower known to Earth, the Perseids (pur-SEE'-uhdz).

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said the annual show will peak around 3 a.m. local time Thursday. Cooke said if the weather is good, expect one shooting star a minute, maybe more.

Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said the skies will be clear for an unusually large section of the U.S.

The sky show is pieces of Comet Swift-Tuttle hitting Earth's atmosphere at more than 133,000 mph and burning up. The best way to watch: lie down and look up — no telescopes needed.

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