Full moon won't wash out meteor shower in Whatcom County

The Perseid meteor shower - the sole annual celestial display that Northwesterners are almost guaranteed to see - will be a bit diminished this year because of a brilliant full moon.

Other major meteor showers occur in fall and winter months, when it's a good bet that Northwestern skies will be cloudy. But the Perseids are active from mid-July to late August, a time when skies around Bellingham usually are clear.

Still, even casual observers should be able to see all but the most faint of the meteors, which are debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle that burn in brilliant streaks as they enter Earth's atmosphere. Most are the size of a speck of dust.