'Supermoon', meteor shower to light up sky on Sunday

By: ABC News
By: ABC News

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Sky observers in the Northern Hemisphere will get a special treat this Sunday as a “super moon” and meteor showers are expected to happen at the same time.

The annual meteor shower, Perseid, will light up the night sky with as many as 100 shooting stars an hour. The prolific Perseid will be joined by a "super moon," which occurs when the Earth is at its closest distance to the moon.

The meteor shower will peak between Aug. 10 and Aug. 13, and is expected to last for a week after its peak.

“The best time to see the showers will be at around 2 a.m.,” Tony Berendsen, an outreach astronomer and founder of Tahoe Star Tours told ABC News today.

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“Because the moon will be incredibly bright in the earlier evening, the smaller showers will not be a match,” Berendsen said.

“To see the meteor shower, you don’t need a telescope, binoculars or any other equipment,” Berendsen said. “All you need is your eyes.”

The Perseid meteor shower is created when space debris from the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet strikes the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Meteors come in varying brightness, from the tiniest, quick streak of light to the blazing fireball leaving a trail across the sky,” Berendsen said.

There are four to six super moons every year, and during those times, the moon is 30,000 miles closer to the Earth than the normal distance.

“You can’t really feel that it’s bigger, because there is no point of reference,” Berendsen. “But as a result, you will feel the moon is a lot brighter.”

Berendsen said the full moon will also bring extra high and low tides, making it extra fun for surfers.


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