Watch the Supermoon & meteor shower Tonight!

An Eta Aquarid meteor streaks over northern Georgia on April 29, 2012. (NASA/MSFC/B. Cooke)

An Eta Aquarid meteor streaks over northern Georgia on April 29, 2012. (NASA/MSFC/B. Cooke)

Florida Travel Guide to watching the Supermoon & meteor shower

We started the year with the Quadrantid Meteor Shower, and tonight, the full moon will be as big as it’s going to get for 2012, and to top it off, there’s a Halley’s comet meteor shower as well!

How big can the moon be?

If weather co-operates, the moon can look more than 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than it normally does, which is why it got the moniker “supermoon.” You’ll see it at its fullest around 11:35 p.m. EDT when it comes closest to the Earth (still, a mere 221,802 miles away! Even though it’s an optical illusion, if you watch the moon during moonrise or moonset, it will seem larger. In Florida the moon will rise around 7:46 p.m. EDT.

Higher Tides

For those of us near the ocean, the supermoon can also cause higher tides on Earth (perigean tides), which might be only an inch or so higher, so no need to be alarmed.

Halley’s comet Meteor

If you weren’t able to catch the Quadrantid Meteor Shower - this year’s first meteor shower in the early morning on January 4th, 2012, you might be in luck tonight. Although the supermoon may outshine it, there is also the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, which can produce up to 60 meteors per hour if you can get far away from the city lights. NASA suggests getting away from city lights and lying flat on your back so your eyes can take in as much of the sky as possible. Give yourself about 30 minutes so your eyes can adjust to the darkness.

Tell us…

Do you head out at night to watch the stars?