Supermoons and Micro-moons

Super Moon: While many may think that the orbit of the Moon is a perfect circle, it is actually an elongated ellipse. An ellipse is basically an oval, and every orbiting body actually orbits in an ellipse. However, different orbits are more circular than others- and some more elliptic. In the case of the Moon, its orbit is fairly elongated. This means that as the Moon swings around the Earth it can be as far as 250,000 miles at apogee, and as close as 220,000 miles at perigee. The Moon’s monthly orbit around the Earth brings it through both apogee and perigee once per month. Both of these can happen at any time during the Moon’s orbit such as a crescent phase. When the Moon is full and at apogee, it appears noticeably smaller and dimmer due to its increased distance- appearing as a micro moon. And when the Moon is full and at perigee, it appears noticeably brighter and bigger- appearing as a Supermoon! In addition to this, if you observe the Moon near the horizon as it rises, it will appear bigger yet due to a little understood optical illusion. While this optical illusion that makes objects near the horizon appear larger always impacts the Moon, it will make the Moon appear incredibly large when it is a Supermoon.
IMG_1148.JPG
The Full Moon as seen Through my 5 inch Scope

No comments:

Post a Comment