Michael A. Stecker


Comet Swift-Tuttle in 1992
(parent body of the
yearly summer Perseid Meteor Shower)
Comet Swift–Tuttle (C1992t, formally designated 109P/Swift–Tuttle) is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 133 years.  It has a comet nucleus of about 26 km in diameter -- over twice as large as the 10 km object hypothesized to have wiped out the dinosaurs in the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event.
It was independently discovered by Lewis Swift on July 16, 1862 and by Horace Parnell Tuttle on July 19, 1862.  The orbital debris from the comet is thought to cause the Perseid Meteor Shower, perhaps the best known shower and among the most reliable in performance.