It has been an appalling Summer for skywatching this year. Unannounced rain and general overcast cloud cover has restricted us from viewing the heavens above this season. There is some hope for any keen amateur astronomers though and it comes in the form of our familiar friend the Moon.
Many of you would have gazed up at the shimmering disc in the sky, probably on many occasions too, but today is a special day for the Moon, the celestial body will come to its closets point on its orbit around us. Granted, this event is pretty common but nonetheless incredibly spectacular for anyone watching. There will be other SuperMoons in the future of course, in fact there is one due in July. However our cosmic neighbour wont be passing as close as it is time around.
The scientific name for this event is ‘Perigee Moon’ it marks the coincidence where a new or full Moon is at it’s closets proximity to the Earth. The Lunar surface will appear 30% brighter to us and 14% larger in the night sky. According to experts the best time to view this phenomenon is both at moonrise and moonset when it appears at its very massive.
The next SuperMoon of this magnitude wont be occurring until August 2014. So, weather permitting, keep an eye on the night sky this evening, you may just be surprised to see an old friend looking a little different.
- Most ‘super’ supermoon of 2013 on June 22-23 (noliesradio.org)
- A feat of lunar synchronicity will create a Supermoon (fox6now.com)
- Skywatchers Alert ~ Super Moon Weekend! (incl. neat video: Lady Luna as you’ve never seen her) (tartaninkblog.wordpress.com)