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Perseid Meteor Shower Coincides With Brightest Supermoon Of The Year

Jimmy Westlake / Flickr

Jimmy Westlake / Flickr

Each year, sky watchers anticipate the Perseid meteor shower, which peaks in the second week of August.

But this year's event might be harder to view due to a Supermoon on Aug. 10, when the full moon looks the biggest and brightest, according to NASA.

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NASA / Flickr

Scientists expect that some bright fire streaks may still be visible. They released the following tips for prime meteor shower viewing:

Viewing Tips

The Perseids are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere during the pre-dawn hours, though at times it is possible to view meteors from this shower as early as 10:00 p.m.. Find an area well away from city or street lights. Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back with your feet facing northeast and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient -- the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.

Meteor Shower Facts

  • Comet of Origin: 109P/Swift-Tuttle
  • Radiant: Constellation Perseus
  • Active: 17 July -- 24 Aug. 2014
  • Peak Activity: 12-13 Aug. 2014
  • Peak Activity Meteor Count: Up to 100 meteors per hour
  • Meteor Velocity: 59 km (37 miles) per second

The Perseids come from the Comet Swift Tuttle, which leaves a trail of debris when it swings through the inner solar system. When earth passes through that debris field, "specks appear in the skies and disintegrate in flashes of light, " says NASA. During peak meteor activity, up to 100 meteors can appear per hour.

-Capital Public Radio Staff

Measuring Meteor Shower Activity In Your Area

Histogram (1)

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