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Monday, Aug 11, 2014

Asia

'Supermoon,' meteor shower to decorate Tokyo's night skies this week

The Yomiuri Shimbun/ANN | Monday, Aug 11, 2014

People stand and look at the Supermoon phenomenon from a bridge over 42nd St. in the Manhattan borough of New York July 11, 2014.

Two major cosmic events are set to dazzle skygazers this week-an unusually large "supermoon" and the Perseid meteor shower.

If the weather is clear, the largest supermoon this year is expected to be visible at a little past 3 a.m. on Monday.

The moon rotates around the Earth on an elliptical orbit, so its distance from the Earth varies from about 360,000 kilometers to 400,000 kilometers.

Supermoons occur when a full moon passes close to the Earth.

The moon will be about 357,000 kilometers from Earth at 2:43 a.m. Monday and will be full soon after at 3:09 a.m. Experts say it will appear up to 14 per cent larger than this year's smallest full moon, seen on Jan. 16, and 30 per cent brighter than normal.

The best time to watch the Perseid meteor shower will be from midnight Tuesday to dawn on Wednesday. Shooting stars are expected to be visible all over the sky at about midnight Tuesday around the radiant point near the Perseus constellation in the northeast, experts said.

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