Nugget of Knowledge: Perseid Meteor Shower

There were 100,000 meteors an hour back in 1833

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Perseid Meteor Shower is one of the best shooting-star displays of the year, and it’s set to peak August 12 — that’s Saturday.

It may produce up to 150 meteors per hour, and all you have to do is step outside to watch. There should be two to three meteors per minute — tiny things, about the size of a grain of sand, burning up miles high.

The best time is late on August 12 or early the following morning.

Find some place away from lights, get settled in a comfortable position and allow about half an hour for your eyes to get used to the dark and look to the north.

Meteor showers take place when Earth passes through the tail of a comet — in this case, comet Swift-Tuttle. We’ve been watching this shower for 2,000 years.

But the best of all was the Leonid Meteor Shower of 1833. Can you image 100,000 meteors per hour? That’s 20 to 30 every second flashing across the sky one night, November 12.

That’s a meteor storm, and it had a profound effect on everyone who saw. It also gave birth to modern meteor science.

Did you miss an episode of Daybreak or want to re-visit a previous ‘Nugget’? View previous ‘Nugget of Knowledge’ entries on

If you have an idea for a ‘Nugget of Knowledge,’ send your idea in an email to