Saturday, March 19, 2011

Super Moon Rising -- tonight

Astrologer Richard Nolle coined the term “Super Moon” 30 years ago to describe the extra large full moon rising tonight. It will be something special – a great look at the “biggest” moon in 20 years.
“Super Moon” describes a new or full moon occurring at the same time the Moon comes within 90 percent of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit. It’s an event that happens 4-6 times a year, but according to a NASA Science News story, tonight's full moon will nearly coincide with the Moon's arrival at the closest point in its orbit around the Earth, resulting in the largest visible full moon in North America in two decades.

"The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993," Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C.  said in the recent NASA Science News story. "I'd say it's worth a look."

Officially, a “Super Moon” is called a  "perigee moon."

"The full moon of March 19th occurs less than one hour away from perigee – a near-perfect coincidence that happens only 18 years or so," added Chester.

Full moons vary in size because of the moon’s oval shape, according to the article. The moon is an ellipse with one side [perigee] about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other [apogee]. Perigee moons appear about 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than non-perigee moons – if the weather cooperates.

No earthquakes, tsunamis, or nuclear accidents should result, although that Mayan calendar thing still kinda freaks me out.

No comments: