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Heavenly Fight for Spotlight: December Supermoon to Outshine Geminid Meteor Shower

Dec 13, 2016 05:22 AM EST
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Two eye-watering spectacles will battle it out for attention this week as the final supermoon and the year and the peak of the much awaited Geminid meteor shower will try to outshine each other.

Stargazers and sky-watchers will see the cosmic coincidence as scenery worthy of looking forward to. However, meteor watchers and enthusiasts will find the joint event to be challenging.

According to the report from National Geographic, the Geminid meteor shower would peak at late night local time on December 13. The shower's peak could reach their maximum rates of 60 to 120 shooting stars an hour. However, the supermoon will also reach its full phase at 7:05 p.m. ET on the same day.

Due to this, the bright luminous light from the moon could overpower the meteor shower. The supermoon could cut down the visible meteors to around a dozen an hour. For best viewing of the Geminid meteor shower, viewers are advised to turn their back to the moon and keep their eyes adapted to the dark.

"The Geminids are typically one of the best and most reliable of the annual meteor showers," NASA wrote in a statement. "It's usually one of the best opportunities for kids who don't stay up late because it gets going around 9 or 10 p.m. local time."

Aside from the brightness of supermoon, cloudy skies will also dim the meteor showers. USA Today reported that thick clouds will lurk in the night skies of the United States, making a poor viewing condition sacross the country.

Meteor showers, or also known as shooting stars, are produced when tiny debris in the space enters the Earth's atmosphere, where they travel at high speed while burning up. This creates the brilliant streaks of light that can be seen with the naked eye, wven without any help from any instruments.

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