Sunday, March 20, 2011

Close encounter with the moon

The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand.
~Frederic Lawrence Knowles

Watching last night's "Supermoon" rise in the sky, I have to agree with NASA that "the visual illusion is most prominent at sunset, when low-hanging full moons tend to look larger anyway."

Scientists called this a super perigee moon. Perigee is the point where the moon makes its closest pass to Earth during its oval-shaped orbit. When it happens during a full moon, the moon seems up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than normal, according to NASA.

The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993. The full moon of March 19 occurred less than one hour away from perigee -- a near-perfect coincidence that happens only (every) 18 years or so.

The March full moon is also known as the Crow Moon. The moon won’t come this close again until November 14, 2016.

No comments:

Post a Comment