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A Perseid meteor above California in 2018. Photo: Bob Riha Jr/Contributor/Getty

The month of August is usually lauded as one of the best times of year for skywatching, but this year the Moon will blot out our view of the Perseid meteor shower — typically one of the best.

Details: During the Perseids' peak from Aug. 12 to 13, the bright Moon will drown out all but the brightest meteors even for those in areas relatively free of light pollution.

  • Under usual circumstances, people should expect to see about 60 meteors per hour during the peak of the August shower, but this year, it will be more like 20 per hour, if that, according to NASA skywatching expert Bill Cooke.
"To put it colloquially, this year's Perseids are going to suck."
— NASA's Bill Cooke to Axios

The big picture: It's not just the Perseids that the Moon will foil this year. It will also be bright and nearly full during the Orionid meteor shower in October, the Leonids in November and the Geminids in December, Cooke said.

But, but, but: If you're still interested in heading out to check out a meteor shower or two this year, prioritize the fireball rich Perseids and Geminids, and be sure to find a dark area and allow your eyes to adjust for at least 30 minutes; that means no phones, Cooke said.

Go deeper

30 mins ago - World

Netanyahu and Israel reluctantly adjust to a post-Trump Washington

Netanyahu (R) and Biden in 2010. Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides are very nervous about the transition to a new U.S. administration after a four-year honeymoon with Donald Trump. One Israeli official told me it felt like going through detox.

What he's saying: Netanyahu congratulated Biden minutes after he was sworn in, saying in a statement that he looked forward to working together to "continue expanding peace between Israel and the Arab world and to confront common challenges, chief among them the threat posed by Iran."

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  3. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

First glimpse of the Biden market

Photo: Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Investors made clear what companies they think will be winners and which will be losers in President Joe Biden's economy on Wednesday, selling out of gun makers, pot purveyors, private prison operators and payday lenders, and buying up gambling, gaming, beer stocks and Big Tech.

What happened: Private prison operator CoreCivic and private prison REIT Geo fell by 7.8% and 4.1%, respectively, while marijuana ETF MJ dropped 2% and payday lenders World Acceptance and EZCorp each fell by more than 1%.