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Friday, May 04, 2012

Super Moon Saturday 

The biggest full moon of the year for the Northern Hemisphere is coming this weekend. Saturday night is what is commonly referred to as the "Supermoon." This results when the moon's perigee coincides with a full moon, like it does this month. In this case the perigee, the point in an orbit where the orbiting body is closest to the body it orbits, is the nearest to Earth the moon will be at any time this year.

We believe it should look something like this...

SPACE.com's skywatching columnist, Joe Rao, says that this happens because the moon's orbit is not perfectly circular. This month's full moon is due to be about 16 percent brighter than average. Although there is no obvious scientific cause for alarm or disquiet, SPACE.com does note that, "normal tides around the world will be particularly high and low. At perigee, the moon will exert about 42 percent more tidal force than it will during its next apogee two weeks later."

They also suggest, "To view this weekend's supermoon to best effect, look for it just after it rises or before it sets, when it is close to the horizon. There, you can catch a view of the moon behind buildings or trees, an effect which produces an optical illusion, making the moon seem even larger than it really is."

Read the whole article here.


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