Stargazers receive treat in meteor shower arrival.
Every so often, conditions are just right for outstanding meteor showers.
Mother Nature was expected to deliver as much with the arrival of this year's Perseid meteors.
NASA, which days ago already had picked up fireballs associated with the annual night light show, expected the flood of meteors to peak this week.
According to the website Spacedex.com, best viewing times in Kansas were expected in the wee hours this morning and Tuesday morning due to less moonlight.
The Perseid meteors are so named because they appear to emerge from the constellation Perseus.
Perseus was the hero of ancient Greek myth born from a shower of heavenly gold.
But the meteors actually are leftover debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseid meteor shower — with fireballs streaking across the sky at some 134,000 mph — come each year when the Earth passes through the comet's debris trail.
And this time around, the shooting star spectacle also was expected to bring a bonus in an impressive "fireball" meteor. NASA reported it could be as bright as Venus.
This week's show also could be a prelude to an even more impressive event later this year in the approach of Comet ISON, already called the "Comet of the Century" by NASA. However, there's some debate over how well those on land will be able to see the comet, which is expected to come within 700,000 miles of the sun — far closer than the Earth approaches — in late November.
In the meantime, the current meteor shower should provide a nice treat for stargazers.
Experts say viewers looking in clear nighttime skies could see as many as 100 meteors streaking across the sky per hour in some places. Rural locations usually provide the best setting for viewing, as light pollution tends to interfere.
Those interested in catching the tail end of the show won't need telescopes or binoculars. It's best to view with the naked eye.
While the timing of the event may be a bit inconvenient, it's always worthwhile to stay up late, or get up early to check out what's been an anticipated event in nature's own fireworks display.