Many of you are likely contemplating weekend plans since Saturday is Cinco de Mayo, but there may be another event to pencil into your calendar: viewing the "super moon." At 11:35 p.m. ET Saturday, the official full moon will occur at the same time its orbit brings the familiar white globe closest to Earth.
The moon will appear very large and bright in the sky, about 16% brighter than usual. The best location to view the moon at its largest is when it is along the horizon after rising and just before setting. Viewing the moon behind buildings and trees creates an optical illusion so it appears even larger, making it a perfect time to try and grab some beautiful pictures.
So why is this full moon "super"? As the moon orbits the Earth, there are specific times when it is closest to and farthest away from our planet. Apogee occurs when the moon is farthest away from Earth, and perigee occurs when it is closest. On Saturday, the moon will be at its perigee and thus very close to Earth – about 221,000 miles away.
The perigee on Saturday night will also be the closest one to Earth all year, about 3% closer than any other approach in 2012. This is due to the fact that the orbits in our solar system are elliptical instead of circular. There is a bit of wobble in these orbits as well, explaining why we see some perigees closer and some apogees farther away than others.
Those along the coasts wondering, “Do I need to worry about huge high tides?” will notice more exaggerated high and low tides but nothing extreme. In most places, the perigean tides raise tidal levels about an inch. In some locations, the tide could rise possibly up to 6 inches, depending on local geography.
This full moon will be big, bright, beautiful and certainly worth a look. The timing to see it will be perfect when many people already are out and about on Saturday night.
My photos turned out great; I am very proud of them.
q41)The great star will burn for seven days,
The cloud will cause two suns to appear:
The big mastiff will howl all night
When the great pontiff will change country.
As a reformed werewolf, I do not appreciate this time of month.
My Goodness!! LOL!!! :-D
The time given in this article is not correct for viewing purposes. You want to watch this moon especially at MOON RISE. Moon rise calculators are easily available online. For the Midwest, the time is 7:50 PM. Find your own moonrise time and enjoy!!
The moon will have a big red cape and a yellow M on it.
this will be a GREAT EVENT for human history and all the SCIENTIST around the world
a great event in human history??! huh? Try not to get too overdramatic.
Cinco de Mayo. A totally fake holiday. At least the moon does not have advertising on it yet.
how is it a fake holiday? It represents when the mexicans drove the french out during the colonial era even though they were hugely outnumbered.
OK, Is beating the French a cause for a "special day"?? Who hasnt beaten the French..................
But it isn't their "Fourth of July" as many people think, Chris. Their true independence came in September. So you are right, the holiday isn't "fake" per se, just misunderstood!! It is good for beer sales. Ms. Lopez
We do not know what will happen when the planets all line up.nostradomis predicted a great storm in the sky....i think it will interfere with all our computers cell phones and much more because we rely on satellites in space and the planets will cause everything to go wacky.
Now who can argue with that??
Well sure... You bet!!
For your own education..please read up on the science with so called "planetary alignments" I am not insinuating that you are stupid, but you seem to be concerned about the causality of an upcoming event that will have no effect on our planet.
Sure it will...just because you don't understand that, doesn't mean it won't happen.
You can't really believe in that! it is inherently impossible (mostly, due to physics). ridiculous prophecy; I guess the mayans are right, also! the planetary alignment will cause gravity to destroy the planet, like a cheap watch broken in space! sarcasm is the only way I can express myself, in these cases. :-)
J.C, put it much more cordially; thanks!
Watch out for the moon people...It's their best chance to invade earth...riding their moon cycles, being followed by their moon dogs, and they will be eating their moon pies, and doing their moon dance, and of course mooning the earthly human passers-by..
All lovers of Dogs, including those who will be barking at the Moon tonight, go to Dogs For Obama on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Dogs-For-Obama/416441408375751
I'll be out looking! I would suggest everyone forget the nastiness some posted here and just enjoy.
Just enjoy the Full Flower moon.
Enjoy the glistening rays. Jupiter in Taurus is aligning with Venus in Gemini and Mars in Virgo, as seen in the night sky. Then even more to come, though we don't get to see the physical Venus and the Sun kissing this June but we will feel it; Summer of Love!
Just eojoy tgm
Thank you mother nature. You truly have us living in a jewerly box of live gems. Happy Birthday Rob.
I'll show you a big moon.
The very idea!
Surely the gravitational pull affects the mind.all you haters attack rob now,what wil u do on saturday?
Oh no the moon is going to crash into the earth!
@Luke and Han May the 4th be with you! Happy StarWars Day. :)
"HEY! We all know that the moon is NOT made of green cheese... but what if it were made of barbeque spare ribs? Would ya eat it then?"
you can tell there will be a super moon cause the way people are acting! and something is gonna happpen on 12-21-12 we just dont know what! good luck and god bless
"you can tell there will be a super moon cause the way people are acting! "
There is no difference in people's activities during a full moon compared to any other time. It is just an old wive's tale from the days when people didn't understand the natural world around them and attributed outbursts and oddities to demons and spirits.
"and something is gonna happpen on 12-21-12 we just dont know what!"
12-21-12? You're bringing up that canard? Nothing will happen on that date which will be out of the ordinary. Guaranteed. People will be born, people will die, the Earth will continue to revolve about the sun, the moon about the Earth, and life will go on. What fantasy land are you living in?
"good luck and god bless"
Never mind. I see the problem.
kas: "Never mind. I see the problem."
Man, you got trolled big time.
I feel sorry for you.
People are lunatic a*sholes, 24/7, year round; the only change you see, is when it gets about 105 in the shade, and is @ 100% humidity; then they act even worse than "normal."
"Good luck" & God bless" are rather contradictory sayings, aren't they? Just say "God bless, & leave the non-existent "luck" out of it.
& yes, something really is going to happen; let me tell you what...
I am going to stand in my field and be drained of blood by mosquitoes and red-bugs, (chiggars to you yankees), almost to the point of death...ALMOST; while they are feasting on my blood, fire ants will sting me all over my body, causing excruciating pain. Regardless, I will persevere, and take fantastic photos of the giant moon!
i think i will wave at the man on the moon
SUPER MOON will also cause a lot of extra births and abherrent human behavior. The phrase 'lunatic' comes from such occasions. Hospital ER's will be crowded and general nuttiness will be greater than usual.
Watch and learn.
9/11 was an inside job too
The additional gravitational pull of the moon at closest approach, although very very small, is still much greater than when all the planets line up or when the Sun lines up with the plane of the galaxy as it is doing now. So forget about doomsday in December of this year. It ain't gonna happen.
there never is a dooms day, there is a spiritual revolution though. The only changes coming, watch http://www.mayanword.org
on the collective, we can change the world. Kiss the Moon!
i was told the moon is inching slowly away from earth.....how does it get closer?....was i lied to in school again?
No you were not lied to. It is in fact inching away however the difference in orbit is thousands of miles. It will take millions of years for those inches to become thousands of miles. There is also a theory that it will go away for a while but then come back in. It will be a race between the moon hitting the Earth and the Sun going Nova on us. (A few billion years)
@Steve: our sun cannot go nova. Not massive enough for that. But it will eventually expand into a red giant. Earth's moon moves away from us about 1 inch per year. We need not fear ever having the moon actually escape, though. For the lifetime of our planet, the moon will remain in its orbit.
No, you weren't lied to, the moon is moving away from the Earth. The reason that it sometimes looks closer or further away is the content of the atmosphere, and the angle that you're viewing it relative to the curvature of the Earth.
Think of it as the same reason your passenger side car mirror says "Objects May Be Closer Than They Appear" because it has a curve to it, unlike the driver's side mirror. Reverse this curvature and make the other car the moon, and the mirror the atmosphere.
What are you smoking, son? The question was about the moon's orbit gradually getting further from the earth, not about how sometimes it looks bigger due to atmospheric lensing.
The moon's orbit is eliptical, not perfectly circular. That means that over the course of a single orbit, the moon will vary in its distance from the earth. At perigee, like on Saturday, the moon will be at its closet point on that orbit. At apogee, it will be at its furthest point on that orbit.
The moon's orbit is also growing larger in that the moon draws further from the earth over time, but only by very small amounts. The increase in distance from the earth is only a matter of inches per decade. Whether or not the moon will continue to move further and further off or if there is an oscillation in the size of the moon's orbit is, from what I can gather, still an open question.
Finally, the moon sometimes looks larger when it is on the horizon due to atmospheric lensing. The degree of atmospheric lensing is not constant.
Does that help?
Now, put out that joint.
You must not pay THAT much attention. :-) It plainly says that the orbit of the Moon is elliptical (egg shaped), not circular. So the distance from Earth varies considerably. It is indeed moving away from the Earth but only by an inch or two a year. So it will take millions of years for it to move away from Earth altogether.
ooops, perigee means closest. ai caramba.
I remember by associating Apogee with Away. Perigee is indeed closer.
of course @apogee - nearer then looks bigger.
senor rob: por favor, no rob el banco. happy bday.
Wait a Minute, I thought light pollution meant we aren't going to be able to see the stars? Oh I guess- we can see the moon but not the stars- that's the ticket. Just like cold weather is global warming because, the ice is melting and that cold water that just melted is now flowing in the ocean causing cold weather- or even better the emmissions from china and india are blocking the suns light, that's what's causing cold weather. A Hyppthesis a minute- that's what I call reall freedom.
There is a huge difference between the affects light pollution has on a faint, far away object and one that is much closer to the earth.
And light pollution is actually proven. The brighter it is around you the more difficult it is to see dim objects in the sky. Its actually fairly common sense if you actually think about it for a second.
Despite increased light pollution you can still spot dimwits, like "WaitaMinute", by the stupid things they say.
Clyde has it right!!!!
clyde: "Despite increased light pollution you can still spot dimwits, like "WaitaMinute", by the stupid things they say."
Despite the internet being almost 20 years old, dimwits still can't spot a troll from a mile away.
I've never been able to figure out why folks who purposefully choose to be ignorant about science will go onto science threads and post inane drivel that demonstrates their ignorance.
Being able to post stuff to prove you are an uneducated ignoramus just like you did is freedom.
Wait, I thought the moon moved in more or less a circular pattern around Earth with some bumps and wobbles. Is this true that it is elliptical rather than round?
All orbits are elliptical to some degree.
Circles ARE ellipses. Orbits are never perfectly circular, but then again, they're not perfectly elliptical, either. Over time, they look more like a Spirograph drawing. (Remember those pre-video-game gems?)
The Full Moon always looks big and bright. This one will be about 8% larger than normal, not enough to make a noticeable difference.
The author is correct about the Moon illusion and does not need to go back to school. The thicker atmosphere near the horizon DOES NOT make the Moon appear larger. The Moon illusion is due to reference with early objects. ;-)
"Earthly," that is...
The light is refracted more near the horizon so the Moon actually does appear larger.
Awesome, just checked my sky-chart and it seems like around midnight tomorrow I will actually be getting a couple good hours of clear sky, and maybe a couple hours when the moon would be at the horizon of pretty viewing. Coming from Vancouver, BC, clear skies is not a very frequent occurance, but I do get some great viewing where I live. (I live behind mountains that block the light from the city, so when it is clear out, I usually get some pretty nice dark skies).
If anyone is curious about getting a forecast for their own night sky, the clear dark skies has a good astronomy forecast, great resource for really all your "is this a good night to go look at stars" needs.
This will be nothing compared to the fat couple next door sunbathing. Now that's a couple of big moons.
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!!!!
Big deal. I wanna see the earth from the surface of the moon.
Now THAT'S somethin to see. Wouldn't dare step foot off this planet anytime soon, but don't doubt it would be the eeriest and perhaps most spectacular of all sights
Sorry, NASA is out of that business. Try LSD instead.
Earth would be larger in the lunar sky than the Moon is in ours, but not really enough to be significant. There would be two obvious differences: it would be a blue, green and white ball instead of a grey one, and it would never rise or set, or indeed move at all, because the Moon is tidally locked with Earth (from our perspective this means that we always see the same side of the Moon). Depending upon your location on the lunar surface, the Earth would be "stuck" at a certain point in the sky, and of course the far side of the Moon would never know the Earth was even there.
The Earth would rotate so you'd see the night side, and could probably make out certain large agglomerations of city lights, such as the outline of Europe or the US east coast, but it would depend on Earth's atmospheric conditions as well as the position of the Sun...remember that if the Moon can see Earth's night side, it means the Sun is going to be somewhere in the lunar sky, reflecting off the surface and drowning out stars. Pointing a decent telescope at Earth would reveal the larger cities even in the daytime. The Great Wall of China legend is, of course, a complete fabrication.
You can see lake Okeechoobee which is located in Florida. And I am serious too.
Perhaps Newt Gingrich will team up with Virgin Galactic, and work toward exploiting the moon. Unemployment does not become him. And he might get some shots at virginal interns, while exploiting space tourists all at the same time. Talk about a win, win, WIN!
Actually, the Moon has an abundance of Helium 3, which could easily be used for all our energy purposes. Helium 3, is practically polutant free too. This substance wouldnt be necessarily difficult to mine since it's at the surface level and not too deep. The issue with mining helium3, is it would cost a tremendous fortune to logistically get it back to the earth in the amounts we would need. Then needing a huge cargo ship, people working in that environment, etc. would be difficult challenges to over come. Sure one day someone or some company will exploit this natural resource. Unfortunately, there isn't enough helium3 on earth to even come close to meeting humanities needs.
Now that would be great, ask God for a view!
I'm with you. I want to see the Earth from a moon base. I'd give up everything to be one of the first to establish a base there. It'll have to be a private venture, because the government, any government, won't be able to pull it off.
LOL at everyone trashing poor Rob
Even your birthday has to be all about you, doesn't it Rob? Pretty sure they pee'd in the punch.
how ugly acting
Thats no moon.... its a space station....
It's too big to be a space station.
II have a very bad feeling about this.
I changed my mind Rob. I love you. I love you, walks on the beach, world peace, lunar thingies and the smell of bacon
...sharing an ice cream cone, while riding together on a horse into the setting sun.
What horrible people! Let me guess; you all live above the Mason Dixon.
More'n likely on the south side. "Thinking is hard work." (G.W.B.)
Fitting, and telling, that you would remember such a "profound" quote.
The author of this piece needs to go back to school – the reason why the moon looks largest closest to the horizon is that the observer is seeing the moon through the greatest portion of the earths atmosphere – it acts as a magnifer – the more humidity the greater the optical distortion leading to what it appears to be much a larger moon
Wrong, it;s the scale of object around it. If that were the case, everything in the horizon would also be magnified in the same scale.
Sorry vowelmovement, but the author is correct. The moon appears bigger because of size constancy and visual cues in relation to its surroundings. It's an optical illusion based on perception. The atmospheric effect you refer to is basically refraction which gives a momentary elongation of an object in the horizon. This effect lasts only a few minutes and is different from the moon appearing bigger.
Rob, I care. Cinco de Mayo is my birthday too. Haters gonna hate. They just wish so many great things happened on their birthdays...too bad.
Happy Birthday to you Steve,,,have a wonderful day.
Big Time Rush Movie on Nickelodeon takes place during the "super moon."
What is this about Rob ?? Wow...meme much ? Anyway, we can see things on the moon that none will be able to see
Rob, I need to put my stick in your mouth. Let me know if you like the dessert that comes out of it after a while too...
Have a wonderful and happy birthday Rob. Think of this mooon as your big cookie!
Yes,,,Rob...Hava a happy birthday, and best wishes in the year to come.
I plan on taking pics of the moon.:)
And, Rob....have a happy! Ya only go around once in this life. Enjoy yer birthday supermoon!
Really Rob, we don't. But thanks for playing. Lovely consolation prizes for you on your way out...
tact : a keen sense of what to do or say in order to maintain good relations with others or avoid offense
A lot of this are happening on my birthday.
WHO CARES ROB?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ! Rob
Rob,,,,Have a wonderful birthday.
Happy Birthday! It is always great to have something extra special, like this, happen on your birthday. The Yankees are just jealous, ignore them.
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