PERSEIDS PICTURES: Meteor Shower Streaks Across the Sky

  PERSEIDS PICTURES: Dazzling Meteor Shower Tonight
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Meteors brighten the night sky over a Bedouin tent near Amman, Jordan, on August 12, 2004.

The Perseids we see every year are meteors, or what we call shooting stars. But the terms can get tricky: Meteoroids are pieces of rock and ice in outer space. If those rocks enter Earth's atmosphere and incinerate--like the showy Perseids--they are called meteors. If the pieces survive and end up on the ground, those are called meteorites.

"Since Perseids are ice with a little dust mixed in, they never make it to the ground," said Bill Cooke, a NASA meteorite expert in Huntsville, Alabama.
—Photograph by Ali Jarekji, Reuters
 
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