Ready for December, supermoon, the Geminid meteor shower

A man walks on the top span of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the supermoon is going to be the last stage in Sydney, Australia, November 15, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed )

Two bright heavenly scenes will play out in the heavens, on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning: a supermoon and a meteor shower.

While the supermoon of November was the subject of much of the attention, the evening of December 14, will also host a supermoon, which is a phenomenon that occurs when the moon, which is an elliptical orbit) is closest to our planet at the same time receive the full from our vantage point here on Earth. The combination of the two factors makes it brighter— as much as 30 percent, NASA says.

An extra bright full moon makes a powerful appearance in the sky, but it’s going to be the surpass of another phenomenon: the annual Geminid meteor shower when the Earth passes through material from an extinct comet called 3200 Phaethon, according to NASA. The meteors streak across the sky as they burn up, which makes for a beautiful falling stars.


NASA said that the perfect time to see the meteors is just before the dawning of the day on Wednesday morning.

Today, question #NASA experts your #Geminids questions about our #RedditAMA to 2 pm CT. #DYK geminids are pieces of debris from an extinct comet?

— NASA Marshall News (@NASA_Marshall) 12 December 2016

In short, to see, in December, the supermoon, check it out on Tuesday evening; to try and glimpse as much as Geminid shooting stars if possible, find a dark place to stargaze on Wednesday morning, while it was still dark outside.

NASA scientists take questions from the audience on a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” on Monday and also via Twitter on Tuesday night.

Follow Rob Koster on Twitter: @robverger

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