Huge Supermoon To Accompany Meteor Shower

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A huge "supermoon" will accompany this year's Perseid meteor shower,

in one of the most dramatic astronomical events of the year. More than

100 meteors an hour speed by during the annual display, which takes

place on the second week of August. The shower is due to reach its

peak on Tuesday, but this year the display has a shining rival – the

Moon. On Sunday the Moon will become full as it reaches the point in

its orbit that is closest to the Earth, known as perigee. It will

appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons during

the year. It could mean that the meteor shower does not stand out as

much as it would on a typical year. Dr Bill Cooke from Nasa's

Meteoroid Environment Office said: "Lunar glare wipes out the

black-velvety backdrop required to see faint meteors, and sharply

reduces counts." But he said that the Perseids were "rich in fireballs

as bright as Jupiter or Venus" that would remain visible despite the

Moon's glare. Tony Markham, director of the Society for Popular

Astronomy's meteor section, said skywatchers should stay optimistic.

"The Perseids are rich in bright meteors and so many Perseids will

still be seen despite the moonlit sky background," he said. "If

possible, keep the Moon hidden behind trees or a nearby building." The

best time to see the meteors is between Saturday and Wednesday, with

activity peaking on Tuesday. At perigee, the Moon is around 31,000

miles closer than when it is furthest away from the Earth. Supermoons

occur every 13 months and 18 days, but are not always noticed because

of clouds or poor weather.

Sky News

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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