Stargazer : Super-duper moon & Taurid Meteor Shower

There are 6 supermoons in the year of 2016, and on 14th November, we will be witnessing the largest full moon in 68 years, which in fact is the moon at its closest point to Earth thus far in the 21st century (2001 to 2100). The last time it’s seen as close to Earth was on 26th January in 1948. If you miss it this time, you will have to wait till 25th November, 2034 for the supermoon to reach as close.

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What is Supermoon?
Supermoon is the full moon or new moon we see when Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line and the Moon is in its nearest approach to Earth. It is the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth and is technically named the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system Earth.

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Supermoon has the effect of causing greater tides. However, there are no sufficient evidence to prove that supermoons have any correlations with major earthquakes and tsunamis in recent years.

 

 

Other than the supermoon, you should also note that the Taurid meteor shower are visible in November. The peak of the first stream (South Taurids) has already taken place, so make sure to look up to the sky from late night 11th November until 12th November dawn to catch the peak of second stream (North Taurids). Even you have missed the peak time, don’t worry; the Taurids are well known for having a high percentage of fireballs, or exceptionally bright meteors. Also, they are extremely long-lasting, so there will sure be a chance for you to wish upon a shooting star from in the period of 25th September to 2nd December. However, you won’t see multiple shooting stars crossing the sky as the Taurids are sparse.

 

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Supermoon’s moonlight will interfere with observations around the middle of November. Therefore, it is best to look for the North Taurids earlier or later than 14th November. The meteors appear to originate in the constellation Taurus the bull. To find Taurus, look for the constellation Orion and then peer to the northeast to find the red star Aldebaran, the star in the bull’s eye.

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A little reminder, there’s no need to look directly at Taurus; the shooting stars will be visible all over the night sky, so search around the nearby constellations. Meteors closer to the radiant have shorter trails and are more difficult to spot. Looking only at Taurus might make you miss the shooting stars with the most spectacular trails.

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