It’s a full moon tonight and so far the forecast is for a clear sky in our part of the world so Graeme is working hard to get his camera and telescope ready for the big event.
What is a SuperMoon Night you might ask.Â Well, every so often, the moon’s orbit brings it much closer than average to the earth and tonight is one such night.Â In addition, because it also happens to be the same day as there is a full moon shining in our part of the world, this makes tonight fairly rare astronomically speaking. This astronomical event only occurs every 19 or 20 years so consider it a good night to eat you supper early go out and howl at the moon.
For those who like technical terms, tonight the moon will be at its ‘perigee’ (closest point) and should be appear about 15% larger and 30% brighter than average. The ideal time to look at the moon would be just as it comes up over the horizon in the East since atmospheric distortion effects will add to the phenomenon with an optical illusion effect that will make it appear even larger still. How much closer is the moon? According to the NASA website, the moon is about 31,000 miles closer which, for us Canadians, is about 50,000km but still far enough away for most people.
Tonight, howling is okay :-). Have fun!