Perseids, Meet Supermoon!

So tonight (meaning the wee hours of Monday morning and the next few mornings, for optimum viewing – more civilised hours might work too, of course) the Perseid meteor shower will be on view! Have a look at this site (picked at random; there are many more) for more about how to view the meteors, in case you’re not sure. Well, here’s an interesting thing. The moon will be at its brightest as well, so that’ll mean that the viewing conditions for meteors will not be ideal, unfortunately. And it really will be extra bright (well, slightly, to be honest) because tonight’s full moon is during the moon’s closest approach to the earth in its elliptical orbit, making what’s called a Supermoon. That’s why the wee hours are better for viewing this time around, since the moon will be at its lowest in the night sky. (A few days ago there was a longer window between the setting of the moon and the rising of the sun, but that’s closed now that we’re closer to full…) Oh, and will there be a bunch of silly articles in the press trying to scare you about the Supermoon, as there has been in part years? I don’t dare look.

Anyway, enjoy your viewing of either or both phenomena!

-cvj

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