WARREN, NJ - Look up. The moon, a supermoon, that will rise on the evening of Sunday, Aug. 10 will appear to observers to be the largest and brightest full moon of 2014 with its closest proximity to Earth in over twenty years.
In addition to the supermoon, the annual Perseid meteor shower is expected to be visible.
The term supermoon is a new-age term that was first coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. However, many astronomers refer to it by its technical term, “perigee moon”. Within the astronomical community it is referred to as a perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. Perigee is when the Moon is closest in orbit to the Earth and Syzygy is the term for full or new moon when the Earth, Moon and Sun align.
Stardate.org defines a meteor shower as "a spike in the number of meteors or "shooting stars" that streak through the night sky."
They go on to explain, "Most meteor showers are spawned by comets. As a comet orbits the Sun it sheds an icy, dusty debris stream along its orbit. If Earth travels through this stream, we will see a meteor shower. Although the meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, if you trace their paths, the meteors in each shower appear to "rain" into the sky from the same region."
Time and Date.com notes, "The 2014 Perseid meteor shower will peak between August 10 and August 13. A waning Gibbous Moon (the Moon's phase after a full moon) may make it harder for observers to see the shower. Despite this, astronomers suggest that observers try their luck to catch some Perseids before dawn on August 11, 12 and 13."
In addition to the August 10 supermoon, another is expected to occur on September 9. The first of this summer's trio occurred on July 12.
The NASA video below explains more.