Perseid meteor shower could be a dud this year
SPOKANE, Wash.– The Perseids are one of the most active and most-anticipated meteor showers every year. This year though, it might not be as spectacular of a show.
At their peak, which is the morning of August 12 to the morning of August 13, you can normally see 50 to 60 meteors per hour, according to NASA. Skies in the Inland Northwest will be clear enough for some good meteor spotting, but that’s not why the 2022 Perseids could be a dud.
Instead, it’s about bad timing with our closest celestial neighbor. The moon will be full on Thursday night, and to top it all off, it will be a supermoon. A supermoon is when the moon’s oblong orbit brings it closer to earth than at any other point.
Supermoons don’t look that much bigger to the naked eye, but they will be slightly brighter than your average full moon. There are usually three to four supermoons per year. In the past four months, we’ve had four supermoons.
Unfortunately, the brightness of the full moon will drown out smaller Perseid meteors, just like how city lights wash out all but the brightest stars in the sky. That means instead of 50, 60, or even sometimes 100 meteors per hour, you’re likely only going to see 10 to 20 per hour this year.
If you’re going to give it a go anyway, having as dark of a sky as possible will be even more important. To maximize your chances of seeing a meteor, keep your back to the Moon and your eyes up into the darkest part of the opposing sky.
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