Geminid meteor shower to overlap last supermoon of 2016

Geminid meteor shower to overlap last supermoon of 2016

Sky watchers will once again be able to feast their eyes on two celestial spectacles that will brighten the night sky later this week, NASA astronomers have confirmed.

The two night sky spectacles are: the peak of the Geminid meteor shower and the final supermoon of 2016. The super large full moon will be brightening the night sky just as the annual Geminid meteor shower will be giving its best performance in the night hours of Dec. 13th.

As the moon’s orbit around our planet is egg-shaped, there are times when it is closer or farther from our planet. A supermoon can be described as a full moon coinciding with the lunar orb’s closest approach to Earth. This point of moon’s closest approach to Earth is called perigee.

The moon will officially reach perigee at 6 p.m. ET (23:00 UT) on Dec. 12the, when it will be around 222,737 miles from us. However, its full phase will take place 25 hours later, at around 7:05 p.m. ET on Dec. 13th.

While the shooting stars will significantly affect the supermoon’s glare, it will still be worth going out and have a look at the orb. That Geminids are popular for producing uncommonly bright and long-term meteors.

The upcoming supermoon will be beautiful but it will technically be a tad farther from us than November’s record-setting full moon. On Nov. 13th, sky watchers saw the largest and closest supermoon to Earth since 1948.


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