DENVER — Tuesday’s supermoon might ruin the chance to see the Geminid meteor shower.
The meteor shower is “the very best and the most reliable” annual meteor display, according to Space.com.
“Every December, Earth crosses paths with an asteroid’s debris field. As pieces of rock and ice fall through the atmosphere, they burn up and create a holiday spectacular we know as the Geminid meteor shower,” Popular Science said.
NASA said at its peak, the shower lights up the night sky with more than 100 meteors per hour. The Geminids will reach their peak at the same time of the supermoon — 5:05 p.m.
The supermoon will be in the sky until after sunrise Wednesday morning and the bright moonlight is expected to hide “all but the very brightest meteors.”
This is the third consecutive supermoon full moon since October.
The term supermoon means the moon is closest to Earth at the same time it appears to be full from our vantage point. The combination of the two factors makes the moon up to 30 percent brighter.
An average year will see four to six supermoons.
The term supermoon has no scientific meaning in astronomy; it was a term coined by an astrologer and has been associated with a close full moon ever since.