GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For stargazers, this will be an excellent week to get outside and look up. The full moon will shine bright by two planets and the Perseid meteor shower has begun.
The moon will be full at 10:37 p.m. Friday, but it will look full on Thursday and Saturday.
The July full moon is sometimes called the Thunder Moon because of the summer thunderstorms that are common at this time of year. It’s also called the Buck Moon for the deer that begin to grow antlers and the Hay Moon for farmers who are busy harvesting hay.
On the evening of the full moon, the moon will be close by Jupiter and Saturn. You’ll want to look to the southeast after sunset to see the three. The waning moon will be below Saturn on Saturday and below Jupiter on Monday the 26th.
If you’re lucky, you might get a view of some bright meteors while you’re outside looking at the moon and the two planets. The Perseid meteor shower has just begun.
The Perseids are an annual meteor shower that occurs as the earth passes through debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle. They are one of the most popular meteor showers because of how bright and numerous the meteors can be.
The peak of the Perseids will happened around Aug. 11 and 12. At the peak, up to 100 meteors per hour will be possible. There won’t be as many meteors this week, but you’ll still have a chance of spotting some streaking across the sky.
Though the radiant point of the meteors is by the constellation Perseus, there’s no need to look in a specific direction overhead to spot them. Just make sure you get away from city lights. The Perseids will remain active until late August.