Denver, Colo., Aug 11, 2020 / 13:40 pm
Star-gazing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when Catholics think of St. Lawrence, the early Christian martyr who was cooked to death by the Romans on an outdoor grill.
But every August, Catholics have the chance to see a meteor shower named in his honor.
The Perseids meteor shower, also called the "tears of St. Lawrence," is a meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle, which drops dust and debris in Earth's orbit on its 133-year trip around the Sun. (The comet poses no immediate threat to Earth, at least not for several thousand years.)
As Earth orbits the Sun, it hits pieces of left-behind debris from the comet, causing them to burn up in Earth's atmosphere.