Starting this weekend not one but two celestial events will have people turning their eyes upward to the night sky.
A supermoon will grace the sky Sunday night and will appear to be the largest one this year, while the annual Perseid meteor shower will peak next week.
According to NASA, the moon will appear larger than usual because it will be full when it is closet to Earth this weekend. As for it being an even larger supermoon than others, many might not be able to discern this difference. Sky and Telescope explained that most people would have to measure the moon carefully to compare how this one appears a bit bigger. The reason being that it will be just a little bit closer to Earth than usual in its slightly elliptical orbit.
As for the Perseid meteor shower, the comet passing by Earth soon might send a few shooting stars across the sky over the weekend, but scientists expect the shower to truly peak on August 12 and August 13. Though the full moon will be waning at this point, it still could obscure some of the smaller meteors. Regardless, NASA said, “there should still be a good show of brighter meteors in this prolific shower.”
The meteors should be visible for most of the world after dark, but peak viewing times, according to NASA is two hours before the sun comes up.
Dr. Bill Cooke and other meteor scientists will host a live Web chat Tuesday night into Wednesday morning about the shower.
Watch NASA’s recent video that asks which will be brighter, Perseid fireballs or a supermoon?
If you end up missing the supermoon due to clouds or other circumstances, don’t fret. Another isn’t too far behind. The next supermoon will take place on Sept. 9. You also might feel like you just saw a supermoon, and that’s because you probably did. The last supermoon occurred in July.