Perseid meteors travel at the blistering speed of 132,000 miles per hour (59 kilometers per second). That’s 500 times faster than the fastest car in the world. At that speed, even a smidgen of dust makes a vivid streak of light when it collides with Earth’s atmosphere. Peak temperatures can reach anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit as they speed across the sky.
The Perseids pose no danger to Earth. Most burn up 50 miles above our planet. But an outburst could mean trouble for spacecraft.