Perseid meteor shower battles a supermoon Aug. 11

Published: August 11, 2022 5:32 AM EDT
Updated: August 15, 2022 10:41 AM EDT
Credit: Sepe44-stock.adobe.com

PERSEID METEOR SHOWER AND A SUPERMOON

Heads up, Southwest Florida… literally! One of the best astronomical events of the year takes place soon. The Perseid meteor shower will light up the sky this week, with the peak occurring from Thursday into early Friday.

Picture Credit: AP

NASA expects the Perseids to light up the sky—on a normal year, the shower is capable of producing 50 to 100 meteorites per hour, as well as the occasional fireball, a longer and larger blast of light that originates from larger fragments of the comet.

When you watch a meteor shower, you’re actually viewing pieces of the comet’s debris heat up as they enter our atmosphere and burn up into a bright spectacle of dazzling light, to the delight of the stargazer.

Meteor showers are named after the constellation from which they originate. The Perseids come from the Perseus Constellation.

BEST TIME TO VIEW THE PERSEIDS:

The best time to view the Perseids will be late Thursday into early Friday morning. You’ll want to look into the northern sky in the darkest location possible. Allow your eyes to adjust for 30 minutes or so, sit back and enjoy the celestial event.

Skywatchers will have the possibility of seeing the meteorites after 10 p.m., with better chances overnight and into the pre-dawn hours of Friday morning.

LIMITING FACTORS FOR VIEWING THE PERSEIDS: THE SUPERMOON

However, the Perseids will have an opponent Thursday night. The high glow of the full ‘Sturgeon Supermoon’ will be glaring across our sky and may potentially limit the Perseids’ fiery spectacle down to 25 – 50 meteorites per hour.

It is known as the Sturgeon supermoon, as sturgeon are readily caught this time of year throughout the Great Lakes. It is also often referred to as the ‘Corn Moon’ as the annual corn harvest typically begins this time of year.

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