'The Tears of St. Lawrence': Popular meteor shower to light up the night sky

'The Tears of St. Lawrence': Popular meteor shower to light up the night sky

HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - The annual Perseid meteor shower will light up the sky on Sunday, and it's expected to be one of the biggest stargazing events of the year.

The cosmic light show happens once a year in August, and stargazers can expect to see about 60 to 80 meteors per hour, according to astronomers.

The meteor shower's peak will be visible late Sunday night into early Monday morning.

"All of these meteor showers are the Earth passing through the debris left behind by a comet earlier," said Roy Gal, associate astronomer with the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

"The Perseids come from a comet called 'Swift Tuttle', named after the people who discovered it, and it's actually the biggest comet that regularly passes by the Earth," Gal said.

Gal suggests that starry-eyed hopefuls view the meteor shower in dark places with low cloud coverage like Makapuu or Sandy's Beach.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say that spectators should be able to get a good view of the galactic display due to the low cloud coverage predicted for the night.

The Perseids were called the "Tears of St. Lawrence" in medieval Europe because they occur around the anniversary of the death of Laurentius, a Christian deacon who was martyred by Valerian, a Roman emperor, in the year 258 A.D.

Stargazers who want to see the show without risking mosquito bites can also watch the meteor shower on a live stream here.

Chinese astronomers are credited with the being the first to record an observation of the meteor shower back in 36 A.D.

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