Supermoon and Perseid Meteor ShowerAugust 10th, 2014 at 12:30 am by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, Weather
First check out this short video. We’ve been enjoying the full moon this weekend. The full moon of August is called the Sturgeon Moon. This full moon is special, it’s what’s called a “supermoon“. The distance between the Earth and the Moon averages 238,855 miles. However, because the moon’s orbit is an oval and not a perfect circle, that distance can vary from 221, 460 miles to 252, 700 miles. Sometimes the full moon occurs when the moon is close to the earth and sometimes it occurs when the moon is farther away from the Earth. The full moon on Sunday will be the closest full moon to Earth until 2034. The exact time of full moon is 2:09 pm EDT (when it’ll be midday here and the moon will be shining on the other side of the Earth. At that time Sunday, the moon will be approx. 221,765 miles from Earth. This full moon will be approx. 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a full moon that occurs when the moon is farthest from Earth. When the moon is closest to earth each month, that’s called perigee and when it’s farthest away, that’s called apogee. The full moon is always in the opposite direction from the sun. The sun sets now to the WNW, so look for the moon to rise Sunday evening in the ESE at around 8:37 pm. The moon appears to look bigger at moonrise and moonset (it really isn’t) and it can have a yellowish or pinkish tint as the moon is shining through a larger layer of air. We still have an occasional thin layer of smoke from wildfires in Canada and the Pacific NW that makes our sky look a little whitish during the day, instead of bright blue and can give the sun a yellow-orange appearance at sunrise and sunset.
The full moon will make it more difficult to see the best meteor show of the year, the Perseids, which peak in the early morning of August 11-13. However, the Perseids usually produce a few bright meteors called “fireballs” and they should still be able to be seen despite the full moon. Here’s this weeks Sky at a Glance. The planets Venus and Jupiter can be seen in the early morning twilight in the eastern sky. Mars and Saturn are to the SW shortly after sunset. Look for the bright stars Vega, high overhead in the evening and Arcturus is to the west. Vega will look white and Arcturus will look yellow or even yellow-orange. Here’s when you can see the Intl. Space Station fly by.
Quick note on weather: We are in the General T-storm Outlook for Monday – no severe weather is likely at this point. The European model gives G.R. 0.34″ of rain for Monday/Monday night…the NAM has .05″ for Sun. night and 0.51″ for Monday PM and Monday night…the GFS-plot has 0.24″ Sun. night and 0.13″ Monday PM. All three models have rain for pretty much all locations. Also: Parts of Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku, Japan have had 70-80 inches (1800+ mm) of rain in last 10 days (from Anthony Sagliani).