Perseid meteor shower lights up sky

(NBC) — The annual Perseid meteor shower was at its peak Thursday night into early Friday morning.

Scattered specks of dust – a trail in the comet’s wake – flashed as they entered the atmosphere at 132,000 miles per hour and burn up.

The Perseids are named after the constellation Perseus, the Medusa-killing hero in Greek mythology.

A meteor shower is a visible indicator of a comet’s journey around the inner solar system.

As comets enter the inner solar system, the sun’s rays heat up the frozen surfaces, which releases trillions of small dust particles. When the earth crosses the trail left by the comets, the particles become visible.