Sky observers in Houston — and rest of the Northern Hemisphere — got a special treat on Sunday as a supermoon glowed behind a somewhat cloudy sky, and a double dose of spectacular is expected to peak Tuesday with an annual meteor shower.
A supermoon occurs when the moon becomes full at the closest point in its orbit to Earth, called the moon's perigee. Sunday night's moon became full at the same time as its perigee, making it the most super of the supermoons this year. In fact, the supermoon was about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than other full moons during the year.
The supermoon was about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than other full moons during the year.
"The illusion occurs when the moon is near the horizon," according to NASA. "For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects."
The annual meteor shower, Perseid, is expected to peak Tuesday night and continue through early Wednesday morning, according the Houston Museum of Science blog. The George Observatory will be open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Tuesday for meteor shower viewing. Event tickets are $5 per person.
Houstonians and the world witnessed the first supermoon this year on July 12. And if you didn't get a chance to see the moon this weekend, you'll have another opportunity at catching a supermoon when it happens again on Sept. 9.
Local astronomers, professional and amateur, shared their photo snaps of Sunday's supermoon. Click through the slideshow for some of their great shots.