Posts Tagged ‘Supermoon’

March supermoon marks spring

 

Watch for a supermoon March 20.. (Jodie Jacobs photo)

Watch for a supermoon March 20.. (Jodie Jacobs photo)

Look up the night of March 20-21. There will be a supermoon. A supermoon is a full moon (or new moon but you don’t see the new moons even if they are super) that just about coincides with when the moon’s egg-shaped orbit puts it at its perigee, the closest point to earth during that month’s orbit. It happens Tuesday.

This supermoon also coincides with the Northern Hemisphere’s spring equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere it is autumnal equinox. Vacationers take that opposite season into consideration when planning a trip.

You’re right if you think you just saw a suspermoon. The closest supermoon of 2019 was Feb. 19, the middle supermoon of a series of three that occurred Jan. 21, happened again in mid February and ends with the one this week March 20-21.

But this one comes on what is the spring equinox north of the equator and fall equinox south of the equator. Also called the vernal equinox, it is when the Sun is exactly above the equator during the Earth’s axis movement from south to north.

Until this date, the Sun rises and sets somewhat south of the equator. After this date it rises and sets more to the north of the equator.  You will likely start noticing the sun beginning to shine on a different part of your property.

What else can you expect? The moon will look larger, mostly as it rises around sunset which is a moon illusion. But this supermoon will also look brighter and ts pull also has a tidal impact. Some people might even complain of sinus headaches.

Of course you will see monthly full moons this year but the one coming up in mid-March is the last of the 2019 supermoons so mark it on your calendar.

For more information visit Earth/Sky.

 

Lunar eclipse happenings

NASA photo of a lunar eclipse June 15, 2011. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

NASA photo of a lunar eclipse June 15, 2011. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

Look up the night of Jan 20 into morning of Jan 21. You won’t need a telescope or special glasses. It’s a “Supermoon,” “Wolfmoon,” “Bloodmoon. Ooh, it’s disappearing.

 

Eclipse Times

About midnight, CT, the full moon will have fully moved in its orbit between the earth and the sun. so it won’t be reflecting the sun’s rays. The total eclipse will last a long time – an hour.

The Adler Planetarium site lists Central Times for when it begins and happens as partial eclipse starting at 9:34 pm, and total eclipse from 10:41 to 11:43 pm, Jan. 20. Then watch as the moon emerges from behind the earth Jan.l 21.

In Universal Time the eclipse will last almost 3½ hours from the beginning of the partial phase at 3:34 UT until it ends at 6:51 UT. Totality lasts 63 minutes, from 4:41 to 5:44 UT.

 

Moon Names

So why “Supermoon?” “The moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle,” said Adler Director of Public Observing Michelle Nichols. “Sometimes it is closer to earth so it looks larger,” Nichols said. She noted that the closest it will come near the eclipse will be during the day of Jan. 21 at 1:59 p.m. She calls the appearance of the rising moon seeming to loom large, “an optical illusion.”

She suggested viewers use the thumb test. “Put an arm straight out and cover the moon with your thumb. Then, do it again later when the moon is over head. It will be the same size.”

“Bloodmoon” is a term describing the moon’s color during total eclipse. “Sometimes it looks brick red, sometimes grayish. The sunlight is reflecting at the edge of the earth. The earth has blotted out the blue of the sun so sometimes it could be reddish sometimes grayish. It also depends on how dusty the earth’s atmosphere is,” Nichols said.

“Wolfmoon” is a term for the first full moon of the year, acquired over the years similar to Harvest Moon and Hunter Moon. It also has other names such as Ice Moon according to Time and Date

which explains that people often named the full moons according to the seasons and the phenomena they associated with its time of year.

 

Where to Watch

View outside your abode. See it happening inside on a live stream at Time and Date Live which will be streaming the event on its site.

But to appreciate and enjoy the lunar eclipse with astronomers go over to the Adler for “Lunapalooza.”  The outside observing part is free. Inside events, adults $12, children $8 (members free) include seeing the new Adler show “Imagine the Moon” which charts how people considered the moon over the centuries. Lunar eclipse

 

More Sky and Eclipse Information

These sites have charts, photos and lots of good astronomy information: Time and Date, Earth and Sky, Sky and Telescope and Space.

 

 

 

Super Supermoon Monday is here

Did you see the supermoon last night or, if an early, early bird, this morning when it was supposed to be closest to Earth and at its fullest?

Supermoon over Chicago's northern suburbs Nov. 14, 2016 at 5:10 a.m. CT

Supermoon over Chicago’s northern suburbs Nov. 14, 2016 at 5:10 a.m. CT. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

You can photograph it any time but to have it appear larger than other full moons best is to take it low, not high in the sky and near something that might give it size dimension such as a building or tree.

You have time to snap a photo tonight and even Tuesday when it starts to wane but still looks full. Just make time to do it because even though you may have seen the one Oct. 16 and may catch the last of 2016’s three supermoons on Dec. 14, those two full moons aren’t as close.

The next supermoon as close to Earth as the one now will be Nov. 25, 2034, according to NASA.

If wondering what makes this supermoon different than the others this year it relates to the moon’s orbit. Supermoons are full or new moons that are within 90 percent of their perigee – the closest point to Earth of the moon’s orbit. The current supermoon appears larger than others because this time it reaches total fullness very close to its perigee, not just somewhat near it.

Perigee comes was at 5:23 Central Time today, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. The moon crested at 7:52 CT.

You will see the supermoon reference on several respected space and sky websites but it isn’t an astronomy term. Instead it is attributable to astrologer Richard Nolle and originates in 20th century astrology about 1979.

Photo of supermoon and stoplight looks like a watercolor but was taken through a car window Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. CT. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

Photo of supermoon and stoplight looks like a watercolor but was taken through a car window Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. CT. Photo by Jodie Jacobs

Now, set a timer to snap the moon tonight or early tomorrow morning so you can share on social media.

Cheers to the man in the moon!

 

Biggest supermoon in recent memory to appear

If the weather is good you should be able to see down the road without street lights Nov. 13-15, 2016. Full moons are typically bright. A full moon that is a supermoon because it is closer to Earth than normal is even brighter. The supermoon that starts next week is going to appear larger and outshine supermoons from the past 68 years.

The moon as seen from space. Photo compliments of NASA

The moon as seen from space. Photo compliments of NASA

That roundish object that is a space craft destination and the subject of mythology will be the closest it has been to earth since 1848. Or as sports fans might know, it was the year that the Indians last won baseball’s World Series.

There will be another supermoon on Dec. 14 this year but it won’t be quite as close. According to NASA, the next time a full moon will come as close to Earth as on Nov. 14, 2016 is Nov. 25, 2034.

It’s likely it will be hard to miss but Adler Planetarium astronomer Larry Ciupik had a couple of suggestions

“The closest it will be is at 5 a.m. (Central Time) the morning of Nov. 14,” Ciupik said. He pointed out that looking for the supermoon depends on the weather and time of night.

“When the sun sets, look east. Before the sun rises, look west. The moon rises in the east at sunset and sets in the west shortly before the sun rises,” he said.

He pointed out that it probably will look larger when it is on or near the horizon. “That is because when it is up high in the sky there is nothing to compare it to,” Ciupik said.

“That’s called moon illusion,” he said.

BTW, readers, the moon will look bright and large Sunday, Monday and Tuesday but it reaches its full crest early Monday morning. That will occur about the same time it reaches the perigee (technically perigee-syzgy) of its orbit. That is its closest point to Earth.

The opposite or farthest point of the moon’s orbit from the earth is its apogee-syzygy when it’s sometimes known as a mini-moon. Just remember that the orbit is elliptical, not round.

Other information can be found at NASA which is a good resource.

 

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