Super sized moon

line art drawing of an apogee. Apogee Perigee ...

Image via Wikipedia

Tonight you can say super size me without feeling guilty.

It may not be a gastronomical delight, but tonight’s super sized full moon will be an astronomical treat.

The full moon tonight, will be the biggest and the brightest it’s been for 18 years. The last time that this happened was back on March 19, 1993. The moon will be 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than usual. This next time this will happen, will be in five years in November 2016.

The reason the moon is closer tonight is because of how it orbits the Earth. The moon orbits the Earth in an elliptical orbit and the Earth isn’t at its centre. It takes about a month or about 29 days for the moon to orbit the Earth.

The distance to the moon varies everyday during it’s orbit. The average distance from the Earth to the moon is about 240,000 miles. When the two objects are the closets they are at perigee and when they are at further distances they are at apogee.

Tonight coincidentally, the moon will be at perigee or 356,577 kilometers away from the Earth and it will also be full. So it will seem bigger and brighter than usual.

The best time to see it will be about 45 minutes after sunset.

So don’t miss this super sized astronomical delight this evening. I’m sure you’ll be impressed.

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About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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3 Responses to Super sized moon

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