Saturday, 19 March 2011

Super "Perigee Moon"

Tonight bore witness to a rare and magnificent sight, when the moon rose just after sunset it was almost 14% bigger and 30% brighter than a "normal" full moon, why?, well the Moons orbit is not circular, it's oval and at this point in it's orbit it's a mere 356,577 km away from us, but it's at it's closest point to Earth that it gets in it's orbit, something that only happens approximately every 20 years.

The last time this type of perigee happened was way back in 1993, so for may this is the first time they will witness the sight of this magnificent perigee Moon rise, the best time to witness it is when the moon is low to the horizon and you can view it against a tree line for instance as the foreground clutter makes the Moon look huge in the sky, it's an optical illusion though, as the size of the moon on the horizon is exactly the same as it is when it's over head, don't believe me, OK, cover the low lying moon with a coin or even your thumb, then hours later when the moon is overhead, do it again, it will be the same, even so tonight's moon was spectacular in the extreme.

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