Perseid Meteor Shower lit up Bay Area sky

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The annual Perseid Meteor shower lit up the Bay Area sky Thursday.

The annual Perseid Meteor Shower lit up the Bay Area sky Thursday.

Those shooting stars streaking across the night sky are particles from the comet Swift Tuttle, some just the size of a grain of sand.

This year's Perseid Meteor shower is considered an outburst or exceptional shower with twice as many shooting stars.

READ MORE: How to watch the Perseid meteor shower this year
We have Jupiter to thank for the extra special celestial show. "Every 12 years Jupiter comes around and goes underneath the path of the comet, or stream of particles, gives it a gravitational tug and that causes two years later the outburst that we'll see," Astronomer Gerald McKeegan said.

McKeegan says nights like Thursday night are important. "The Earth is part of a much bigger universe and this is a way of reminding us of that," he said.

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