This weekend the moon is at Perigee which means it will be at its closest point to the Earth ~and~ there will be a meteor shower caused by the debris from Halley’s comet. This sounds like a great deal, I mean, HUGE full moon and a meteor shower both!?! But really, the huge full moon will make it hard to see the meteors. You should still be able to see one every couple minutes or so.
Along with the regular little pin streak meteors there will be some giant fireballs. These chunks of space rock hit the earth’s atmosphere going 139,000 mph and disintegrate at about 50 miles up. Last night there were seven events.
The eta Aquarid meteor shower is going to peak before sunrise on May 5. So get out there and look at the moon and meteors.
There’s an All Sky camera network in the US that records black and white videos of meteor fireballs. It’s run by NASA and some volunteers. You can see fisheye video camera footage of the fireballs at http://fireballs.ndc.nasa.gov/ If you click on a date, you can see the meteors that were filmed on that date. Each ‘Event’ has a timestamp and video clips from the cameras that were able to record the event. There are a total of seven cameras, and all the events on May 4, of which there were 11, were caught by two cameras.
You can even listen to to meteors. Well, to their radar echoes anyhow. Check out Spaceweather Radio.
The moon at perigee is 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the other full moons of 2012.