Biggest ‘supermoon’ of year will hinder nature’s light show

Photo shows the supermoon.
Photo shows the supermoon.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Scientists at NASA said the full moon Sunday, Aug. 10 is like no other full moon seen this year. This “supermoon” will be the closest and fullest moon in 2014.

According to NASA, when the moon is full as it makes its closest pass to Earth it becomes a supermoon. Scientists said it will be 31,000 miles closer to Earth than other full moons this year. They said August’s supermoon will be even better than the one in July.

Typical supermoons appear 30 percent brighter and around 14 percent larger than a full moon, NASA said. Officials said the moon will turn full on Aug. 10 at 2:09 p.m. EDT, but the supermoon will appear quite full and bright in the night sky.

While the supermoon is quite a sight, it will affect the viewing of one of the best yearly spectacles in the sky. The Perseids meteor shower will peak this year around Aug. 12, even though it is active before that date.

But NASA reports the supermoon will hinder stargazers this year as the bright full moon, followed by the waning gibbous moon, will block out dimmer meteors.

“The Perseid meteor shower is known as one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing fast and bright meteors that frequently leave trains. But in 2014, a nearly full moon will upstage the show,” stated NASA.

However, NASA’s Bill Cook said “the Perseids are rich in fireballs as bright as Jupiter or Venus.” He said despite the glare from the supermoon, the meteor shower will still be visible.

NASA revealed that the count can reach up to 100 meteors per hour and travel at a rate of 37 miles per second. Experts said the best time to watch for these showers is just before dawn. This year’s show will be the best between Aug. 11-13.

Whether its the “super” supermoon or the light show from the Perseids, make your way outside this weekend and gaze upon some spectacles in the sky.

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