January 1, 2014
A Supermoon is a name given to an event that occurs as the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth.
‘The ‘super’ in supermoon is really just the appearance of being closer,” explaines Dr. James Garvin said on the space agency’s website, a chief scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre.
EarthSky reports that the word supermoon was first used more than 30 years ago by astrologer Richard Nolle. This is modern astrology!
Nolle coined the term supermoon as “a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.”
Perigee full moon or perigee new moon was the former name of supermoon before it became supermoon. Perigee literally means “near Earth.”
As the moon rotates in its elliptical orbit around the Earth, there are two points that astronomers marked with names: “lunar perigee”, which is the point of the closest distance of the moon to our planet at 363,104 kilometers, and “lunar apogee”, which is the point of the farthest distance of the moon from our planet at 405,696 kilometers. So when lunar perigee coincides with a new moon, which normally happens several times a year, the “Supermoon” can appear up to 13% larger and 30% brighter compared to a full moon at lunar apogee. Although the Supermoon can be seen several times a year, only one of those is usually the most “super”, meaning it is the fullest and the closest of them all.
Supermoons in 2014 will occur on January 1st, 30th, July 12, August 10, and September 9.
August 10th 2014, the moon will be closest to the Earth in 2014 at 356, 922km.
The farthest away this year, for the lunar apogee, will be the 28th July at 406,546km.
Did you know we won’t have a single calendar month with two supermoons again until January 2018?
Bluedog Photography are conducting an interactive online session ‘How to Photograph the moon on February 7th. For more info on our sessions visit www.blue-dog.com.au or our online catalogue at https://attendee.gototraining.com/7c00f/catalog/1085500906330319872
More sessions being added this week.
Have a fabulous 2014 everyone!
Image courtesy Terry Coleman