Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Mooning Around.

Upon gazing out of the living room window and looking up into the deep navy night sky, I noticed that the celestial body, which we have known to love, the moon, looked rather different. It was much bigger and looked much brighter than normal. Intrigued I looked into the cycles and phases of the moon and discovered that this phenomena was due to a super moon.

A beautiful supermoon above the Washington Monument.
A super moon occurs when the moon appears as either a full or new moon in the sky whilst coinciding with being in as close as a position to Earth as possible during it's elliptical orbit...thus the moon will look bigger and brighter!

The term super moon was coined in 1979 by Richard Nolle, however it's technical name is perigee-syzygy. When a moon is a super moon it is positioned roughly 357,000km away from the Earth, and so is 14% larger and 30% brighter than when the moon is at it's furthest position from the Earth (406,000km).

Super moons occur fairly regularly and a maximum of 3 super moons can occur within 1 full moon cycle. Meaning that every 14th moon is irregular and super!!

Explorer Fact: the next super moon is the night of August 10th.

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