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Summer’s biggest meteor shower to peak this week. It will be a double-header for skywatchers

Aug 10, 2022 09:08AM ● By Laura Durenberger
Photo: Madhuvan Yadav

By Emily Bingham - MLive News - August 8, 2022

Stargazers will be treated to a double-header of spectacles this week, as the last meteor shower of the summer shares the sky with the final super moon of the year.

The annual Perseid meteor shower will peak this week on the night of Friday, August 12 and pre-dawn on Saturday, August 13. Beloved for its brilliant, colorful and plentiful meteors that coincide with August’s balmy and often cloud-free skies, the Perseids can produce as many as 90 meteors per hour over peak nights.

At the same time, the August full moon will hit its own peak on August 11 at 9:36 p.m. EDT, according to NASA. This full moon is 2022′s last “super moon” — a phenomenon that occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth at the same time it is full, making it appear especially large and bright.

The coinciding of these celestial events means that the full moon’s light will obscure some of the Perseids’ shooting stars during the nights of their maximum activity. But don’t give up on your stargazing — meteor rates will still be better than 95% of all other nights this year, according to the American Meteor Society. And NASA says the largest meteors and even fireballs will still be visible despite the moonlight.

For the best chances of seeing meteors during the Perseids’ peak this week, experts suggest traveling to a rural area or dedicated dark sky park with little light pollution and a clear, broad view of the sky. The best time is after midnight on Saturday morning; NASA suggests looking northward, away from the glow of the Moon.

Find more meteor shower stargazing tips via the American Meteor Society.


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