Skip to comments.Supermoon This Weekend!
Posted on 05/03/2012 11:22:05 AM PDT by Red Badger
This weekend will provide the full Moons closest approach of the year to Earth. On Saturday, May 5, 2012 the Moon could appear as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full Moons of 2012, according to some calculations. Will you notice it? Not if you havent really been paying attention, or have a reference point to compare it to other full Moons. And it certainly wont have any adverse effects on Earth, as this closest approach happens every year just a fact of orbital mechanics. But perhaps a great way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is to spend the evening gazing at the Moon!
Every month, as the Moon circles the Earth in its elongated orbit, its distance from the Earth varies. This weekend, the Moon is reaching whats known as its perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit. It will be about 356,953 kilometers (221,802 miles) from Earth on Saturday. Apogee when the Moon is farthest away varies, but is around 405,000 km (252,000 miles) away.
What is most interesting is that the timing of the perigee and full Moon is really, really close: The full moon occurs at 03:34 UTC on May 6 (11:34 p.m. EDT on May 5 )eastern and perigee follows at 03:35 UTC (11:35 p.m. EDT)
David Morrison, from NASA says supermoon is not an astronomical term and he confirms a supermoon has no effect on Earth, and that the change in size is hardly noticeable to the average person. If you miss it, the Moon will be very nearly as close at the next full Moon, and very nearly as close as it was at the last full Moon.
But even better is that two weeks after the supermoon on May 5th, the Moon will be at apogee as it lines up in front of the Sun for an amazing annular eclipse on May 20th. An annular eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the outline of the Moon.
If youre a photographer, take a picture of the Moon and send it to us. If we get a some good images, well share them. Join our Flickr group, or send us your images by email (this means youre giving us permission to post them). Please explain a little about it such as when you took it, the equipment you used, etc.
A 'side by side' comparison of 4 different shots taken over the period of 30 hours before the March 19, 2011 'SuperMoon'. It shows the progression of Moon in its orbit until the closest point. Credit: Ramiz Qureshi, from Karachi, Pakistan.
That would be “apparent” size, one assumes.
Yes, the Moon will be Full and at its closest approach to the Earth at the same time.............
I am a lifelong moon and stargazer. You’ve not lived until you’ve sat in the shade of a swaying willow tree, watching the moon through the whispering branches, as you swig a fine imported beer or two.
And I do mean shade... Even the half moon casts enough light to read comfortably by.
Well, I’ve done that.......but I wasn’t looking at a moon.....in the sky, anyway..............
Like the last Supermoon?
>>Not if you havent really been paying attention,<<
Or don’t work in a Psych ward.
Larger the tide, the larger the fish.............
....or a patrol cop........
By the title I figured this story was about Rosie O’Donnell or Rosie Barr. ;-)
Damn and it’s suppose to be cloudy and raining tomorrow here in New Yawk.
Geez, and all we’re going to get is rain, rain and more rain. Be lucky if we see it.
This supermoon is scheduled for May 5, not tomorrow.
“Yes, the Moon will be Full and at its closest approach to the Earth at the same time.............”
(Taking a page out of H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds”)
....The perfect time for the Moonsters to invade us...
“Youve not lived until youve sat in the shade of a swaying willow tree, watching the moon through the whispering branches, as you swig a fine imported beer or two.”
Wow, sounds awesome.
About a year ago, I experienced something very similar (sans the beer)....
And believe it or not, it was in a flat field, lined with trees, about 5km from Dachau, Germany....
Interesting use of plurals because it makes it look like the moon looks small the rest of the year. This full moon will only be 0.3% larger and 0.6% brighter than June's. This full moon will be 7.4% larger and 15.4% brighter than average.
You can get up to 13.6% bigger apparent diameter and 29.2% brighter by comparing this full moon to the absolute furthest distance from the earth of 406,700 km. That doesn't take into account having a brighter full moon when the earth and moon are closer to the sun in January.