Look up! Super moon and stunning Perseid meteor shower overhead this week

SKYGAZERS have not one, but TWO celestial showcases to look forward to this week.

A supermoon will rise on August 11th, followed by a shower of shooting stars in the following days.

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Super moons appear larger and brighter than the average full moon

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Super moons appear larger and brighter than the average full moonCredit: Alamy

What is the sturgeon moon?

Each full moon has its own name corresponding to the month in which it appears.

The August offer is called Sturgeon Moon, and the 2022 offer is a very special one.

That’s because it’s a supermoon, meaning it will appear slightly larger and brighter than usual.

A supermoon occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth and at the same time full.

This year’s sturgeon moon peaks on August 11, but Earth’s natural satellite will be brighter than usual a few days before and after.

The name is said to have been coined by North American fishing tribes, as the celestial event coincided with the appearance of sturgeon fish around this time of year.

The meteor shower occurs between July and August every year

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The meteor shower occurs between July and August every yearCredit: Alamy

What is the Perseid Meteor Shower?

The Perseid meteors typically begin to glow in the night sky in July and remain visible through mid-August.

The celestial light show peaks on August 11, but it’s possible to see its bright fireballs before and after.

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According to NASAPerseid is widely considered the “best meteor shower of the year.”

The Perseid emerges each year when Earth crosses paths with debris left in its wake by Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Swift-Tuttle is the largest near-Earth object to cross our planet’s orbit, measuring a whopping 16 miles (26 km) in diameter.

A typical Perseid meteor is said to travel at 133,200 miles per hour. They burn up in the earth’s atmosphere and appear as bright streaks in the sky.

Almost none of the rocky debris reaches the surface of our planet. When they do, they become meteorites.

How to see Perseid meteor showers

To catch the meteors, it’s best to take some time to watch the stars tonight.

The morning hours are the best time to see them – that’s anytime between midnight and sunrise.

The meteors appear to radiate from the top of the Perseus constellation, hence their name.

You don’t necessarily need to locate Perseus, however, as the fireballs can appear anywhere in the night sky.

For the best view, go to a dark place with little light pollution and a clear view of the sky.

You don’t need a telescope or binoculars as it’s better to have as wide a view of the sky as possible.

You’ll need a clear weather forecast and up to an hour of free time to spot as many as possible.

Usually the shower shows around 60 meteors per hour, but you can see up to 100 at its peak.

Stargazing Apps

If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, you can always download a stargazing smartphone app that will show objects of interest.

Make sure you give your eyes a break from the phone afterward though, as stargazing is at its best once your eyes have adjusted to the dark.

Stargazing apps for Android and iPhone include: SkyView Lite, Star Tracker and Star Walk 2.

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Keep in mind that some apps are free, but others charge a small fee to download.

It’s wise to read an app’s reviews before downloading it to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

This Perseid meteor was photographed over Belarus in 2018

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This Perseid meteor was photographed over Belarus in 2018Credit: EPA

Learn more about science

Want to learn more about the weird and wonderful world of science? From the moon to the human body, we’ve got you covered…


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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9226588/supermoon-perseid-meteor-shower-overhead/ Look up! Super moon and stunning Perseid meteor shower overhead this week

Fry Electronics Team

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