Several dozen people gathered at the Hartung–Boothroyd Observatory Wednesday night to watch the Perseid Meteor shower. (Photo by Jeff Lower)

ITHACA, N.Y. — If you saw an unusually large number of shooting stars last night, you weren’t alone. Many Ithacans stayed up late to witness the Perseid meteor shower, which will reappear during the early morning and dawn hours Friday.

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Several dozen people gathered at the Hartung–Boothroyd Observatory Wednesday night to watch the Perseid Meteor shower. (Photo by Jeff Lower)

Dash Lynch, 18, said he went to Sunset Park in Cayuga Heights at around 3 a.m. on Thursday morning and saw “a shooting star going across the sky every 5 to 10 seconds. It was a super clear night so you could see all the stars.”

The cause for the celestial show is Earth’s passing through debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle.

From NASA: “When Earth passes through the debris, specks of comet-stuff hit the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and disintegrate in flashes of light.”

This year, the shower is much easier to view because the moon is a crescent, as opposed to last year when the Perseid shower coincided with an especially bright, full moon.

The National Weather Service says that Ithaca skies may be covered with clouds until around midnight, so the most spectacular show will be in the early hours of the morning.

Several dozen people gathered at the Hartung–Boothroyd Observatory Wednesday night to watch the Perseid Meteor shower. (Photo by Jeff Lower)

All photos are courtesy of photographer Jeff Lower. To check out his videos and photos, visit his website. 

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Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs

Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs is an intern with the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at nbogel@ithacavoice.com.