The August supermoon is going to compete with the Perseids for our sky. It’s an unequal fight

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In mid-August there is a date indicated in all the calendars of fans of sky observation: the Perseids arrive, one of the most emblematic meteor showers because it coincides with the summer season. This year they will reach their climax between the 11th and the 13th of August. The problem: on the 12th they will coincide with the full Moon, nothing less than a supermoon.


Sturgeon Moon.
The Full Moon in August is known to some people as the “Sturgeon Moon.” The origin is in the nomenclature used by American farmers and which was supposedly based on traditions of the pre-Columbian peoples of North America. Other “cultural” names it receives are Corn and Lynx Moon.

Beyond the name, the August Full Moon will be a Super moon, that is, it will coincide with our satellite at a point close to its perigee, in turn the closest point between the orbit of the Moon and the Earth. That is, the Moon will appear larger in our sky because it will be closer to us.

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The Perseids.
The Perseids occur when the Earth, in its orbit, crosses the trail of dust and rocks left behind by comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle on its own path around the Sun. However, they get their name from the constellation Perseus, since that is their irradiation pointthe point from which they appear to come as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere and glow.

The Perseids are regular (since they depend on the Earth’s orbit) and visible from the northern hemisphere. The clear skies of August and their intensity have made them a special astronomical event for all fans of sky observation.

Clear winner.
The clarity created by the Moon will make it very difficult (if not impossible) to see the Perseids this year at their peak between August 11 and 13. Light pollution is one of the main obstacles to seeing this type of event, and this year it will be unavoidable no matter how far we go from the most urbanized areas.

How to see the Perseids.
There is good news and those who have been attentive to the sky these days may have noticed, and that is that you can already enjoy the Perseids. They peak in mid-August, but as Earth approaches (and recedes from) the area where it intersects the comet’s path, it’s also possible to glimpse some of these stars in the sky. The Perseids can appear anytime during the nights between July 17 and August 24.

For this reason, whoever wants to see the Perseids has it a little more difficult than other years, but they can do it. It is enough to take advantage of the weak moons of these days and at the end of August. Shooting stars will arrive at a slower rate, but will be more visible in a clear, dark sky.

Not just Perseids.
Whoever chooses these days to see the Perseids may come across a shooting star that does not come from the constellation Perseus. It will probably be one of the Delta Aquarids that are also with us these days. The latter are typical of the southern hemisphere, but can also be observed in the north.

Image | Ahsan Avi

In mid-August there is a date indicated in all the calendars of fans of sky observation: the Perseids arrive, one…

In mid-August there is a date indicated in all the calendars of fans of sky observation: the Perseids arrive, one…

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