AUSTIN (KXAN) – Thursday night is an eventful night for stargazing. The fourth final supermoon of the year will be visible, right alongside the peak of the Perseid meteor shower.
The Moon revolves around Earth in an oval shaped orbit, meaning at some points in its orbit it is much closer to us than others. When the Moon is at its closest point and is full at the same time, a supermoon occurs. Supermoons appear to be as much as 30% brighter and 14% larger than a normal full moon according to NASA.
The Perseid meteor shower (also known as the Perseids) will be reaching its peak around the same time as the supermoon (Aug. 12-13). NASA explains the Perseid meteors come from the remnants of the Swift-Tuttle comet, which orbits the Earth every 133 years. The showers can come with 50 to 100 meteors visible per hour.
While supermoons and meteor showers are exciting, this week, they come at a somewhat inopportune time. The supermoon will shiner brighter than a normal moon, making it a little bit more difficult to see the meteors.
This week’s weather may also interfere with stargazing. We are expecting partly cloudy skies Thursday night, which might hinder the view a little bit more. However, temperatures will be mild and the rain should be calming down, so you’ll be comfortable if you need to stay out a little longer to get a chance to see the meteors and enjoy the supermoon.