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Look Out for a Large Full Moon Tonight, then a Meteor Shower Tomorrow

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Photo by grabadonut via Flickr

This weekend hosts a few nights of pleasant sky viewing with the moon in a full phase and one of the most spectacular meteor showers. That is, if the cloud cover clears.

It's been 15 years since this has happened. The moon will pass earth at its perigee--the closest point that it passes earth--while in a full phase. "t will appear 14 per cent bigger than usual and a stunning 30 per cent brighter," reports the Daily Mail. "The moon will pass a mere 356,613 km away from us - 28,000 km closer than normal"

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This is swell and all, but for anyone hoping to catch the Geminid Meteor Shower on Saturday night, the moon's brightness could light it out. The very popular shower, which is known for perceived slow moving and bright meteor viewing, can sometimes produce up to 120 visible meteors per hour.

"For those who are grasping at straws in light of the poor conditions for Geminid viewing this year," teases MSNBC, "it should be noted that every once in a while, a dazzling Geminid fireball will blaze forth, bright enough to be quite spectacular and more than capable to attract attention even in bright moonlight."