Sunday, March 20, 2011


LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – While tonight’s Perigee Moon for March 19, 2011 is called a “Supermoon”, NASA tells news that the “super” in the word Supermoon refers to the rare beauty and illusion that the Moon will create this evening. At first glance, tonight’s full Moon may not have a proportional difference than any other night. But as NASA explains to news, when tonight’s full Moon is observed behind foreground objects like trees and foliage, it will appear “supersized” and brighter.
How big will tonight’s Moon appear? NASA predicts that this evening the full Moon may appear as much as fourteen percent larger than on average. And while the Moon may appear substantial supersized tonight, NASA explains it’s all an illusion. Tonight’s illusion is the result of the Moon’s orbit passing closer to the Earth.
But here rests the irony.
As NASA explains to news, tonight’s full Moon may appear fourteen percent larger but it is not that much closer to the Earth than on average. As NASA adds, “the moon may seem bigger although the difference in its distance from Earth is only a few percent at such times.”
There is more to be excited about tonight’s Moon besides it enlarged appearance. It will appear also thirty percent brighter that a normal full Moon. The last time this happened was March 1993. And yet, tonight’s Moon tonight is only fifty thousand kilometers closer to the Earth to create this spectacle.
But you should be alarmed about the Moon’s closer proximity to the Earth tonight? No, says NASA. They explain the Earth already has enough “internal energy.” “The Earth has stored a tremendous amount of internal energy within its thin outer shell or crust” explains NASA to news, adding “the small differences in the tidal forces exerted by the moon (and sun) are not enough to fundamentally overcome the much larger forces within the planet due to convection (and other aspects of the internal energy balance that drives plate tectonics).”
If full Moons are not to your liking, meteor showers are just around the corner. Lyrids arrives on the evening of April 21, peaking after midnight. Eta Aquarids will light up the sky with an impressive meteor show on May 5 in the early evening. Perseids drops in a full moon the evening of August 13. A partial lunar eclipse lit up the sky on June 26. Another partial can be seen in just days from now on June 4, 2011.
So while tonight’s “perigee moon” may appear as the biggest and brightest full moon in almost 20 years, there is always something exciting to capture in the sky.

(photo is mine however the article is from Lalate)

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