Best-of-summer meteor shower eclipsed by supermoon

Aug 12, 2014 by Seth Borenstein
The supermoon appears yellow as the sky darkens over Edgartown, Mass., Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, on the island of Martha's Vineyard. President Barack Obama and his family are vacationing on the island. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The annual best-of-summer meteor shower peaks late Tuesday and into the wee hours Wednesday morning.

But don't expect to be too wowed.

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said the bigger, brighter supermoon will interfere with viewing the Perseids (pur-SEE-uhds), but it should still be fun, weather permitting. It peaks after 2:30 a.m.

Cooke said instead of seeing as many 100 per hour, expect to see about 30. Instead of just lying on the ground and looking up, will need to gaze away from the moon.

The meteor show is debris of the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Cooke said asking people to watch the meteor shower is a favorite pickup line of astronomy nerds. He said it can be seen online but is not as good.

The supermoon rises behind the golden double-headed eagle, the National Emblem of the Russian Federation at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. The phenomenon, which scientists call a "perigee moon," occurs when the moon is near the horizon and appears larger and brighter than other full moons. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

A girl plays with a dog as a perigee moon, also known as a supermoon, rises in Madrid, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. The phenomenon, which scientists call a perigee moon, occurs when the moon is near the horizon and appears larger and brighter than other full moons. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)


Explore further: The "magic hour" for Geminid meteors

More information: NASA: tinyurl.com/nasa-perseids

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