For the second time this summer, a super moon will be lighting up the night sky — and this time, the lunar phenomenon may be accompanied by “shooting stars.”
Sunday’s full moon coincides with its perigee, which is the point in the moon’s elliptical orbit when it is closest to Earth. As a result, astronomers say this full moon will appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than when it’s at its farthest point from Earth.
On Sunday night, the moon will still be a distant 190,000 miles away. Within two weeks, it will be at its farthest point, around 240,000 miles away. The average distance between the Earth and its moon is about 230,000 miles.
A previous super moon appeared on July 12 and a third will occur on Sept. 9.
Meanwhile, the annual Perseid meteor shower will peak between Sunday night and Wednesday night, but astronomers say the brightness of the super moon may wash out the view for stargazers. When there’s no moonlight to interfere, scores of shooting stars are visible each hour.
Aside from the moon glow, astronomers say the best viewing times for Perseid meteors are during the predawn hours when the constellation Perseus is high in the northeast night sky.