Friday, March 18, 2011

Super moon spectacle will light up skies tomorrow night (but there's no need to worry about lunacy)

Tomorrow's event will be the closest full moon in almost 20 years

Keep your fingers crossed for clear skies tomorrow night - a full moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset.

The natural phenomenon happens when the full Moon coincides with when it travels closest to Earth on its orbit.

'The last full Moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993,' said Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC.

'I'd say it's worth a look.'
Full Moons vary in size because of the elliptical (or oval) shape of the Moon's orbit. At its furthest point (the apogee) it is around 252,731miles away from us, but it is only around 226,426miles at its closest point (the perigee).

So nearby perigee moons, like the one we will see tomorrow night, is around 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon's orbit

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