Thursday, May 3, 2012
And the 'Supermoon' - the nickname for a perigee full moon, closer to the Earth than usual - could cause tides to rise around the world as the moon's close 'fly past' exerts 42% more tidal force.
The moon will appear bigger and brighter - sky-watchers promise this 'supermoon' will be 16% brighter than most when it begins on Saturday at 3.35pm GMT, 11.35am EDT.
Another 'super moon' is due on Saturday. The perigee full Moon in May will be as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons of 2012
Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon's orbit.
A perigee full Moon brings with it extra-high ‘perigean tides,’ but this is nothing to worry about, according to America's NOAA space-weather predicting agency.
In most places, lunar gravity at perigee pulls tide waters only a few centimeters (an inch or so) higher than usual.
'To view this weekend's supermoon to best effect, look for it just after it rises or before it sets, when it is close to the horizon. There, you can catch a view of the moon behind buildings or trees, an effect which produces an optical illusion, making the moon seem even larger than it really is,' said Space.com, which reported the phenomenon.
The elliptical orbit of the moon means some full moons are bigger than others
And the 'Supermoon' - the term for a perigee full moon, closer to the Earth than usual - could cause tides to rise around the world as the moon's close 'fly past' exerts 42% more tidal force than usual And the 'Supermoon' - the term for a perigee full moon, closer to the Earth than usual - could cause tides to rise around the world as the moon's close 'fly past' exerts 42% more tidal force than usual
Local geography can amplify the effect to about 15 centimeters (six inches)--not exactly a great flood.
The Moon looks extra-big when it is beaming through foreground objects--a.k.a. ‘the Moon illusion.’
Indeed, contrary to some reports circulating the Internet, perigee Moons do not trigger natural disasters. The ‘super moon’ of March 1983, for instance, passed without incident. And an almost-super Moon in Dec. 2008 also proved harmless.
The 'super moon' will slightly amplify tides around the world
Okay, the Moon is 14% bigger than usual, but can you really tell the difference? It's tricky. There are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters. Hanging high overhead with no reference points to provide a sense of scale, one full Moon can seem much like any other.
The best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon. That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view.
For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects.
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