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Meteor Showers, Planets, King Tides and Rare Supermoon for Oregon, Coast

Published 11/04/2016 at 6:01 AM PDT - Updated 11/04/2016 at 6:03 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

high tides and a supermoon on the Oregon coast

(Manzanita, Oregon) – The night skies above Oregon and the coast will be getting very interesting in the coming week, with a meteor shower right now, some fun planet gazing and an especially bright and close Supermoon next week that will yank the tides incredibly high.

Check out the waxing moon over the next few days dancing around the planets, and even more planetary during the month. Tonight, the moon will be near Mars, according to OMSI's astronomy manager Jim Todd. Then Venus will slowly start gaining in intensity over the month, all the way up to -4.0 to -4.2 as it moves east.

“Saturn is still visible low in the southwest after sunset, but is only some 10 degrees above the horizon 45 minutes after sunset,” Todd said. “As the month progresses it will sink lower and become harder to see. Find this gas giant planet in the southern part of Ophiuchus some 7 degrees up and to the left of Antares in Scorpius.”

Mars will get fainter as it moves through Sagittarius, but it can be seen low above the southern horizon throughout the month.

Meanwhile, look for the Taurid meteor showers, which really started peaking last night. There should be more visible tonight, and possibly Saturday.

“Earth will be passing through debris associated with Comet Encke,” Todd said. “Specks of debris will strike Earth's atmosphere, producing a shower of meteors known as the Taurids. Meteor shower watchers might see a large meteor, or fireball, streaking across the night sky while Taurus is visible above the horizon. At this time of year, Taurus rises in the east at sunset and is nearly overhead by midnight. During the night, you might see anywhere from a drizzle of meteors, or a few fireballs.”

Luckily the moon sets early for awhile. Great places to view this on the Oregon coast include just about any beach little to no light. Stick to broader beaches or dark parking lots, as tides are a tad high these days and venturing onto a blackened beach may be dangerous. Make sure you check out the beach carefully first with a flashlight for the locations of the tide line.

Good dark parking lots include Gleneden Beach State Park, Rodea Point by Depoe Bay, and Yachats Scenic Recreation Area, but some of the best will be high vantage points like Silver Point near Cannon Beach or Neahkahnie Mountain by Manzanita. Broader but darker beaches would be the 12th Ave. access at Seaside (most of the rest of town is fairly bright), parts of Lincoln City, Rockaway Beach and Newport's Nye Beach.

Stay off smaller beaches at night like Gleneden Beach or Oceanside. Do not ever venture onto jetties at night.

Just as the King Tides hit along the Oregon coast – with mammoth tides at nearly ten feet – the full moon of November 14 is a truly super Supermoon. It is not only the closest and brightest super moon of all of 2016, but it is the closest since 1948. Also exceptional: another one this close won't happen for nearly 20 years. The next time the moon is this near to the Earth is 2034.

For the Americas, the moon will actually look fuller on the night of November 13 and through the wee hours. It will still look extra large on the night of the 14th, however. It reaches complete full moon phase at nearly 6 a.m. on the the 14th.

There is yet another Supermoon in December, but it won't be quite as big or as bright. You will want to keep clear of all beaches at night during this high tide phase. Where to stay for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour




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