MIAMI – This Saturday, make sure to look up in the night sky to see the "super Moon"! What is a "super Moon"?
"Super Moon" is the name given to a full moon that occurs with the moon makes its closest approach to Earth along its elliptical orbit. So no, the moon will not be wearing a cape this weekend and will not be travelling faster than a speeding bullet.
The name "super Moon" was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979, defined 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.
The full Moon will be closer to Earth than any other time this year. The Moon will be 30% brighter and appear in the sky as much as 14% bigger than other full Moons in 2012.
Saturday, May 5th at 11:34 pm Eastern Daylight Time when the Moon reaches perigee, its closest approach to Earth, only one minute later, the Moon will line up with Earth and the sun to become officially full at 11:35pm. The timing is almost perfect.
The best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon (the moon rises in the east at 7:42pm on Saturday). For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects.
On May 5th, this Moon illusion will amplify a full Moon that's extra-big to begin with. The swollen orb rising in the east at sunset should seem super indeed.
Some claim that the "super Moon" phenomenon is associated with an increased risk of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. However, the evidence of such a connection is unconvincing.
It's true that a perigee full Moon brings with it extra-high "perigean tides," but according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this is nothing to worry about. In most places, lunar gravity at perigee pulls tide waters only a an inch or so higher than normal.
Here is the Moon information for Saturday May 5th:
- Moonrise 6:34 p.m. on preceding day
- Moon transit 12:19 a.m.
- Moonset 6:01 a.m.
- Moonrise 7:42 p.m.
- Moonset 6:54 a.m. on following day
Send us your "super Moon" photos to email@example.com