Supermoon and Perseid meteor shower will light up sky Sunday night

Posted at 8:36 AM, Aug 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-11 01:56:25-04

Sky observers in the Northern Hemisphere will get a special treat on Sunday as a “supermoon” and meteor showers are expected to happen at the same time.

The annual meteor shower, Perseid, will light up the night sky with as many as 100 shooting stars an hour. The prolific Perseid will be joined by a "supermoon," which occurs when the Earth is at its closest distance to the moon.

The brighter "supermoon" will be most noticeable beginning Sunday evening and into the early hours of Monday morning.

RELATED: VIDEO: When to watch Supermoon, meteor shower

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The meteor shower will peak between Aug. 10 and Aug. 13, and is expected to last for a week after its peak.

“The best time to see the showers will be at around 2 a.m. (ET) in the morning,” Tony Berendsen, an outreach astronomer and founder of Tahoe Star Tours told ABC News Thursday.

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“Because the moon will be incredibly bright in the earlier evening, the smaller showers will not be a match,” Berendsen said.

“To see the meteor shower, you don’t need a telescope, binoculars or any other equipment,” Berendsen said. “All you need is your eyes.”

The Perseid meteor shower is created when space debris from the tail of the Swift-Tuttle comet strikes the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Meteors come in varying brightness, from the tiniest, quick streak of light to the blazing fireball leaving a trail across the sky,” Berendsen said.

There are four to six super moons every year, and during those times, the moon is 30,000 miles closer to the Earth than the normal distance.

“You can’t really feel that it’s bigger, because there is no point of reference,” Berendsen. “But as a result, you will feel the moon is a lot brighter.”

Berendsen said the full moon will also bring extra high and low tides, making it extra fun for surfers.