Astronomers across the globe are getting ready to witness a rare Super Moon –Meteor Shower combo on December 14, 2016. The Super Moon –Meteor Shower combo will occur when the super moon coincides with the peaking of Geminids meteor shower. Before going to Super Moon –Meteor Shower combo, let us refresh our awareness about super moon and Meteor Shower.
What is a super moon?
When the earth is located directly between the sun and the moon, the hemisphere of the it facing the earth gets fully illuminated by the sun. During this lunar phase, moon appears a full round for the viewer on the earth and this lunar phase is termed full moon. If a full moon occurs when it is in its closest approach to the earth (called perigee), then the term super moon is used to describe the full moon. During a super moon, since the moon being closest to the earth, it appears larger and brighter.
Super moon happens many times in a year and the super moon on November 14, 2016 was the closest to earth since that on January 26, 1948. The next super moon occurs on December 14, 2016.
What is a meteor shower?
Small rocky or metallic particles seen in outer space, which are usually fragments from comets or asteroids are called meteoroid. Particles in sizes varying between small grains to one meter wide objects are classified under meteoroids. When a meteoroid, comet, or asteroid enters the atmosphere of earth at high speed, the heating produces a streak of light. This spectacle is named a meteor or shooting star. A sequence of many such meteors one after another is called a meteor shower.
What is Geminids meteor shower?
The Geminids meteor shower is an annual phenomenon that occurs between December 4 and December 17 and usually peaks on December 13 and 14. The source of Geminids is the 3200 Phaethon asteroid. It was first observed around 150 years back.
Why is Super Moon-Meteor Shower Combo on December 14, 2016 important?
As mentioned above, the super moon happening on December 14, 2016 coincides with the peaking of Geminids shower between night of December 13 and morning of December 14. Usually the Geminids shower presents a spectacular view. But this time, the brightness of super moon may make it difficult to watch the display.
Super Moon-Meteor Shower Combo is a rare occasion for researchers and observers. The event can be observed by naked eyes, anywhere from the earth, if the place provides full access to dark open sky.
Super Moon-Meteor Shower Combo on December 14,2016
Astronomers across the globe are getting ready to witness a rare Super Moon –Meteor Shower combo on December 14, 2016. The Super Moon –Meteor Shower combo will occur when the super moon coincides with the peaking of Geminids meteor shower.