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Perseids Meteor Shower and Supermoon Offer Divine Heavenly Show - DON'T MISS!

Science & Tech  (tags: Supermoon, perigee, perseids, meteor showers, dramatic, unusual, off-beat, interesting, pictures, space )

- 1681 days ago -
The best time to see the meteors is between Sat-Wed, with activity peaking on Tuesday. An unusually bright full supermoon was also seen on 12 July, another is due to appear on 9 September. But the supermoon of Sunday promises to be the most dramatic


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Evelyn B (63)
Monday August 11, 2014, 1:19 am
Missed the 10th August, but meteors still going on ... and note September 9th, to catch the next one (cloud cover permitting!)

Perseids meteor shower and supermoon offer divine heavenly show
Astronomers and amateur skywatchers excited as perigee moon and comet Swift-Tuttle appear together for dazzling skies

Supermoon lights up skies around the world in pictures
Share your pictures of the supermoon with GuardianWitness

A dramatic supermoon is set to accompany this year's Perseid meteor shower, one of the most anticipated events on the skywatcher's calendar.

Given a dark, clear sky in a normal year, it is common to see more than 100 of the meteors an hour during the second week in August. But this year the Perseids have a bright shining rival. On Sunday, two days before the meteor shower reaches its peak, the moon will become full.

Coincidentally, it will also have reached the point in its orbit that is closest to the Earth, known as perigee. The supermoon will be up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons during the year.

On one level, this is bad news, according to Dr Bill Cooke from Nasa's meteoroid environment office. "Lunar glare wipes out the black, velvety backdrop required to see faint meteors, and sharply reduces counts."

But all is not lost. The debris stream left by comet Swift-Tuttle, which produces the Perseids, is wide, so the shooting stars could make an appearance well before the moon becomes full. Cooke added that the Perseids were also "rich in fireballs as bright as Jupiter or Venus" that would remain visible despite the moon's glare.

A study conducted by his team since 2008 has shown the Perseids to be the undisputed "fireball champion" of meteor showers. "We see more fireballs from Swift-Tuttle than any other parent comet."

Tony Markham, director of the Society for Popular Astronomy's meteor section, also urged skywatchers to stay optimistic.

"The Perseids are rich in bright meteors and so many Perseids will still be seen despite the moonlit sky background," he wrote on the SPA's website. "You can minimise the effect of the moonlight by observing with your back to the moon possibly viewing the Cassiopeia/Cepheus/Ursa Minor area. If possible, keep the moon hidden behind trees or a nearby building."

He pointed out that at this time of year the moon is relatively close to the horizon, leaving much of the sky dark. Markham also suggested looking at an area of sky 20 to 30 degrees away from the Perseid radiant the spot near the constellation of Perseus that the meteors appear to fly out from.

Every 133 years, comet Swift-Tuttle swings through the inner solar system, leaving behind a trail of dust. When the Earth passes through, the dust cloud particles hit the atmosphere at 140,000mph and burn up in streaking flashes of light, creating the spectacle known as the Perseids.

The best time to see the meteors is between Saturday and Wednesday, with activity peaking on Tuesday. An unusually bright full supermoon was also seen on 12 July, and another is due to appear on 9 September. But the supermoon of Sunday promises to be the most dramatic, since this is when the moon will be at its closest point to the Earth all year.

At perigee, the moon is around 31,000 miles closer than when it is furthest away from the Earth. Supermoons occur relatively often, every 13 months and 18 days, but are not always noticed because of clouds or poor weather.

Alan Lambert (91)
Monday August 11, 2014, 2:19 am
Cloudy this morning, so no-go for the Supermoon...

Past Member (0)
Monday August 11, 2014, 5:22 am
Ms. Amateur Astronomer is very sad ~ for the 9th year in a row (!!) we've had rain and thunderstorms for two days which are expected to last into mid-week.
The Geminid showers in mid-December are predicted to be quite spectacular in the northern hemisphere, though.

Thanks, Evelyn!

Past Member (0)
Monday August 11, 2014, 5:31 am
Let's treasure our nature for wonderful moments like this

Louise D (44)
Monday August 11, 2014, 6:05 am
I was clouded over last night , though I did have my telescope out on Saturday - a good view of Saturn before the clouds set in as well as the ISS. It is quite good to get out and look at the sky, I was hoping to see if I could find Neptune as it is the last of the planets on my bucket list I have to see through a telescope and maybe even Uranus again too.

Anne W (11)
Monday August 11, 2014, 6:48 am
Truly beautiful. I couldn't see anything last night because the weather was poor. Perhaps tonight? Or if not, I gather there will be another supermoon on 9 September. I plan to be somewhere more sunny then so who knows?!

Past Member (0)
Monday August 11, 2014, 7:22 am
The moon was awesome, it is 14 % bigger than normal , & will be again in Sept.I have big bedroom windows & it was shining in all night.

Roger G (148)
Monday August 11, 2014, 9:13 am
noted, thanks

Jav R (0)
Monday August 11, 2014, 10:02 am
Gracias por compartir.

Lisa Zilli (17)
Monday August 11, 2014, 10:47 am

Past Member (0)
Monday August 11, 2014, 11:28 am

Charlene Rush (79)
Monday August 11, 2014, 1:17 pm
It's easy to imagine, how people living centuries ago, saw unusual happenings in the sky and thought they were a sign from god. What else could they think?
One can only guess, as to the knowledge that will come forth about our solar system and other solar systems; of course, that depends on how long human life will exist until the 6th extinction.

Hopefully, I won't be around to see it.

Elizabeth brown (20)
Monday August 11, 2014, 1:45 pm
Noted and very interested
Thank you

David C (80)
Monday August 11, 2014, 1:50 pm
thanks.....we've had clouds both last year and this.....

Thoms B (1)
Monday August 11, 2014, 1:55 pm
The bright moon will wash out most of the meteor show. Can't have both.

Lois Jordan (63)
Monday August 11, 2014, 2:12 pm
Noted. Thanks, Evelyn. Was overcast here last night, too. Cloudy today; but hopeful it will clear later tonight. Looking forward to Sept, too!

Birgit W (160)
Monday August 11, 2014, 2:59 pm
Tonight, I won't be able to enjoy the moon nor the meteor showers as it is cloudy here. But I enjoyed the moon last night. Thanks for sharing.

Dan(iel) M (25)
Monday August 11, 2014, 3:02 pm

Dianna M (16)
Monday August 11, 2014, 3:29 pm
Uh oh, you said "supermoon" you just ticked off Neil deGrasse Tyson!

Eternal Gardener (734)
Monday August 11, 2014, 6:34 pm
I have been lucky enough to enjoy it for the last three days... night time walking in the garden is magical :)

Catrin S (6)
Monday August 11, 2014, 6:52 pm
Have not been able to see anything . Will try again today .

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Monday August 11, 2014, 7:08 pm

S J (124)
Monday August 11, 2014, 7:11 pm
I enjoy the very bright Moon for 2 nights and perhaps tonight again. Unfortunately, I have been busy with my ill babies, haven't seen any Perseids yet.

Thank you Evelyn, I hope you enjoy them happily too.

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:59 pm
Always truly fascinating.

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Monday August 11, 2014, 9:00 pm
Strange, my comment went into cyberspace and onto another page.

Colleen L (3)
Monday August 11, 2014, 10:19 pm
The moon was awesome. It looked so close up. Thanks Evelyn

Maria Teresa Schollhorn (42)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 3:01 am
Noted. Thanks for sharing.

Athena F (131)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 4:10 am
I got lucky because it was cloudy part of the night so I didn't know if I'd get to see it at all, but it came right out when I went out to see if I could see it anyway. Yay for fortunate timing! The Lady was truly beautiful, hopefully I can catch her again tonight! Thanks for posting this!

Bob P (394)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 4:56 pm
Thanks Evelyn

Terre P (0)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 9:25 pm
For a change we had clear skies for the past several nights in Victoria, BC, and so I have been enjoying the super moon; haven't seen any meteors though as I haven't gone out of town. Both are amazing to see!
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