Not Just Any Ol’ Moon

Suzanne Uncategorized

A great reason to get up early on Sunday morning–really, really early–is to see a very rare phenomenon: the Super Moon.

super moon

 

Ever noticed the moon looks “bigger” in the sky than on other nights?  You’re not imagining it!  Tonight, the moon will be closer to the earth than usual. Astronomers call this close-to-the-earth full moon a perigee full moon. The word perigee describes the moon’s closest point to Earth for a given month. Two years ago, someone tossed out the name “super moon” and it stuck.

When the moon is closest to the earth because of its elliptical orbit, and it’s a full moon, it makes it look 14% larger and 30 times brighter than a usual full moon.a

How?

The moon’s orbit is elliptical. Imagine a circle and squish it a little flat. The average distance of the moon from the Earth is 238,000 miles. On Sunday morning, it will be just 221,824 miles away — or 16,176 miles closer than usual. (You probably already knew that.)

The Super Moon should be at its peak right around 4:32 am PDT, so keep an eye out to the skies. I’ll be watching…