The supermoon can look very large when close to the horizon.
Even with a full moon the Geminids should be visible.
December’s skies are busy whether you’re looking for meteors or want to enjoy the bright light of the supermoon. Here’s a quick summary of some exciting end-of-year goings on in this month’s night sky.
The full moons in October, November and December of this year all are supermoons. According to EarthSky, astrologer Richard Nolle developed the term supermoon more than 30 years ago. The term only began to be used recently, however. Nolle defined a supermoon as “a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 percent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.”
The last segment of this year’s supermoon trifecta happens on Tuesday, Dec. 13th. The moon technically will reach its peak fullness at 7:05 p.m. EST, but it will appear full when you look in the sky the night before and shortly after the peak experience.
Geminids Meteor Shower
This month’s supermoon is happening the same night as the peak of the Geminids meteor shower— which is the night of Dec. 13-14. According to NASA, the Geminids are “typically one of the best and most reliable of the annual meteor showers.” The metors usually start to be noticeable around 9 or 10 p.m., making them a favorite for kids to watch because they get going before bedtime.
But because they coincide with the bright, full moon this year, the light of the moon will reduce visibility “five to ten fold,” according to NASA.
Ursids Meteor Shower
The Ursids radiate from the Big Dipper or Ursa Minor. They run this year from Dec. 17-23, but the best time to catch meteors according to NASA, will be from midnight on Dec. 21 until about 1 a.m. on Dec. 22. There’s a good, but not guaranteed, chance they’ll also be active on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24 as well.
Are you planning to catch the Supermoon or the Geminids? Let us know how you make out!