Tags: meteor | shower | supermoon | geminid

Meteor Shower Coming Tuesday Could Be Washed Out by Shiny Supermoon

Image: Meteor Shower Coming Tuesday Could Be Washed Out by Shiny Supermoon

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By    |   Monday, 12 Dec 2016 11:56 AM

The Geminid meteor shower will reach its peak Tuesday evening, but the show may be washed out by a supermoon set to peak at the same time.

The moon will turn full at 7:05 p.m. EST on Tuesday, and the meteor shower will span a 10-hour period centered at 7 p.m., Space.com noted. This month’s full moon is the third consecutive supermoon, a phenomenon that occurs when the moon turns full at perigee, its closes point to Earth, making it appear larger than normal.

Space.com called the Geminid meteor shower "the very best and the most reliable of the annual meteor displays." The shower, named for the Gemini constellation it appears near, typically produces 120 meteors per hour during its peak, but Space.com noted that the supermoon will likely hide all but the brightest meteors.

Finding a spot away from city lights offers the best chance of seeing the meteor show, The Associated Press advised.

A smaller meteor shower called Ursa Minorids comes during the predawn hours of Dec. 22, with meteors appearing near Uras Minor, or the Little Dipper, according to National Geographic. It typically produces 10 to 15 meteors per hour.

To get the best peak at a meteor shower, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation urges skywatchers against using cellphones.

"It can take your eyes more than an hour to adjust to the dark — a phenomenon called dark adaptation — but once they do, they'll be able to pick up faint meteors that you might not otherwise see," CBC reported.

Twitter users shared anticipation for this week's celestial show.

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The Geminid meteor shower will reach its peak Tuesday evening, but the show may be washed out by a supermoon set to peak at the same time.
meteor, shower, supermoon, geminid
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2016-56-12
Monday, 12 Dec 2016 11:56 AM
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