Upcoming “Supermoon” (June 23)

This year’s closest and largest full moon will occur on June 23 at precisely 11:32 Universal Time.

DID YOU KNOW?
▶ Will you be able to notice with your eye alone that supermoon is bigger or brighter than usual? Astronomers say NO. (but it’s still very interesting event!)
▶ The term “supermoon” is an ASTROLOGY term (not astronomy!) and basically it means the full moon is in its perigee=it is closest to Earth in its cycle.
▶ There are 4-6 supermoons a year on average, meaning this phenomenon is not so special and rare.

The supermoon of March 19, 2011 (right), compared to an average moon of December 20, 2010 (left). Image credit: Marco Langbroek

The supermoon of March 19, 2011 (right), compared to an average moon of December 20, 2010 (left).
Image credit: Marco Langbroek

Two years ago, when the closest and largest full moon fell on March 19, 2011, many used a term we’d never heard before: SUPERMOON. Last year and this year, we also hear the term supermoon referring to the year’s closest full moon…

However, the word supermoon did not come from astronomy. Instead, it came from astrology, such a shame considering that astrology doesn’t work and it is just a hoax.

Astronomers call this type of full moon a perigee full moon. The word perigee describes the moon’s closest point to Earth for a given month. At perigee, the moon lies only approx. 356,991 kilometers (221,824 miles) away.

In fact, June 2013 presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth until August 10, 2014, at which time the moon will be just 5 kilometers closer to Earth. The full moon will come even closer to Earth on September 28, 2015 (356,877 kilometers) and closer yet on November 14, 2016 (356,509 kilometers). That in November 2016 will be the closest full moon until November 25, 2034.

Supermoons are fairly routine astronomical events.

 

Source: http://earthsky.org/tonight/is-biggest-and-closest-full-moon-on-june-23-2013-a-supermoon

More on similar topic by Phil Plait: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/26/does-this-perigee-make-my-moon-look-fat/#.UZkhMaJA2Yg

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About ~ wolfrayetstar

Science enthusiast and visual artist - hobbyist. Begginer in astrophotography and huge fan of nerdy jokes.
This entry was posted in Astronomy and Skywatching and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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