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Meteor Shower, Supermoon Will Brighten Thursday’s Night Sky, But That’s A Problem

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Those who like to look at the sky will see two events collide later this week: A supermoon will compete with the Perseid meteor shower to light up the night.

The Perseids meteor shower is set to peak Thursday night into the wee hours of Friday, according to the American Meteor Society, though it has been active for weeks with stargazers spotting Perseids as early as late July.

Meteor activity will continue to increase leading up to Thursday, and the peak will coincide with a full supermoon. The moon will rise when the sun sets on Thursday and the light will wash out many of the fainter meteors, significantly reducing the number of shooting stars to 10 to 20 per hour “at best,” according to NASA.

This will be the last supermoon of this year’s trilogy; the last two were in June and July. It is expected to appear larger and brighter than the regular moon and will not be visible again until July 2023.

“Despite the full moon in the sky during the night of maximum activity, meteor speeds this year will still be better than 95% of all other nights,” the AMS said. “The more stars you can see, the more meteors will be visible. Regardless of the time of night, Perseid meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky.”

For the best odds, viewers should look at dark areas of the sky without the moon in sight.

According to Accuweather, people anticipate the Perseids not only because of the 60 to 100 meteors per hour it brings, but also because it peaks in late summer. The mild August nights have a greater chance of cloud-free conditions than the winter and spring nights when it is colder and often cloudier.

The best weather conditions for viewing the Perseids and the supermoon are predicted over much of the west coast, the central plains and around the Great Lakes.

Accuweath forecasts some cloud during the day on Thursday and then sunshine throughout the day, with a temperature of 81 degrees in Detroit. In the evenings it is expected to be clear with temperatures dropping to 57 degrees.

After the Perseids pass, the next moderate meteor shower won’t happen until late October. The mid-fall Orionids don’t produce nearly as many shooting stars as the Perseids, but it’s still one of the best fall meteor showers.


Video: ESA’s meteor camera captures the Perseid shower


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Quote: Meteor shower, supermoon will brighten up Thursday’s night sky, but that’s an issue (2022, August 10) retrieved on August 10, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-meteor-shower-supermoon-brighten -thursday. html

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