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Best-of-summer meteor shower eclipsed by supermoon

Friday - 8/15/2014, 9:40pm  ET

A girl plays with a dog as a perigee moon, also known as a supermoon, rises in Madrid, Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014. The phenomenon, which scientists call a perigee moon, occurs when the moon is near the horizon and appears larger and brighter than other full moons. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

SETH BORENSTEIN
AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The annual best-of-summer meteor shower peaks late Tuesday and into the wee hours Wednesday morning.

But don't expect to be too wowed.

NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said the bigger, brighter supermoon will interfere with viewing the Perseids (pur-SEE-uhds), but it should still be fun, weather permitting. It peaks after 2:30 a.m.

Cooke said instead of seeing as many 100 fireballs per hour, expect to see about 30. Instead of just lying on the ground and looking up, observers will need to gaze away from the moon.

The meteor show is debris of the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Cooke said asking people to watch the meteor shower is a favorite pickup line of astronomy nerds. He said it can be seen online but is not as good.

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Online:

NASA: http://tinyurl.com/nasa-perseids


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