Not only will meteors be in abundant supply, but the full moon may look a bit bigger and brighter too. Hopefully, the latter doesn’t outshine the former.
First up, the Supermoon.
A Supermoon occurs when the moon is both making its closet approach to Earth and turning full. It takes place about once each year.
The moon tonight will appear up to 30 percent brighter and 14 percent bigger than the dullest full moons. We will reach Supermoon status at approximately 11:54 p.m. EDT, but that’s not when the moon will appear at its most jaw-dropping.
The moon will look biggest just as it’s coming up over the eastern horizon. Here on the East Coast, the moon will rise at 7:55 p.m. EDT Saturday evening (you can check out your local moonrise times here).
Viewing times will likely be the best between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. EDT.
Next up, the debris from Halley’s comet will provide us with a dazzling display known as the Aquarid Meteor Shower. This year’s show will provide an estimated 40 – 60 meteors per hour under ideal conditions, says NASA – but the super bright Supermoon could put a slight damper on things.
Still, if you can find a dark enough place away from most light pollution, you may spot a few shooting stars and even a some dramatic fireballs.
The key will be to try and have the moon at your back. Also, try to have a building or tree place you in the moon’s shadow. Leave time for your eyes to get use to the darkness and look up, it really doesn’t matter where.
If you’re lucky, you might catch a magnificent fireball as pieces of rock burn up in the earth’s atmosphere!
- Big, bright ‘supermoon’ to light up South Florida sky Saturday (miamiherald.com)
- ‘Supermoon’ may outshine meteor shower (mnn.com)
- Supermoon To Light Up The Sky Tonight (inquisitr.com)
- ‘Supermoon’ to dominate night sky (rt.com)