Meteor Shower

A University of North Alabama professor says the stars will fall on Alabama Monday night.

The shooting stars are part of the annual Perseid meteor shower. The event occurs when Earth passes through the trail of dust left by comet Swift-Tuttle.

Tony Blose, chairman of the Department of Physics and Earth, said the celestial light show should be visible around 9 p.m. He also said the event actually reaches its peak around 6 p.m., but the meteors will not become visible until after dark.

Astronomers said a meteor is about the size of a grain of sand. As meteors travel into Earth's atmosphere at thousands of miles per hour, friction causes the dust particles to burn and look like streaks of fire.

A telescope isn't needed -- the key to good viewing is to find a place away from bright lights.

Another factor are clear skies. The National Weather Service is forecasting partly cloudy skies across the state Monday.