The First Supermoon of the Year Will Come Out Tomorrow Night

Friday, 28 August 2015 - 1:45PM
Astronomy
Moon
Friday, 28 August 2015 - 1:45PM
The First Supermoon of the Year Will Come Out Tomorrow Night
Amateur skygazers will want to be outside after dark tomorrow night, because 2015's very first supermoon will be glowing in the sky. 

The supermoon, which is actually called a perigee-syzygy, occurs when two astronomical events occur simultaneously: a perigee and a full moon. A full moon occurs when the sun, Earth and moon line up, with the Earth in the middle, fully illuminating the sun. A perigee refers to the point at which the moon is closest to Earth, and so appears larger to the naked eye.

Both of these events occur approximately once a month, but it's rarer for them to occur simultaneously. When these two events occur at the same time, the moon appears significantly larger and brighter; according to NASA, a supermoon can appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than at its farthest point, or apogee. 

The brilliance and apparent size of the moon depends on how close the two events actually are to each other. In this case, the moon will be full at 2:35 pm ET on Saturday, August 29, and will reach perigee approximately 20 hours later, at about 11 am on Sunday, August 30.

This is the first supermoon of the year so far, but it won't be the brightest. The most spectacular full moon will occur next month, on September 28, at which time the perigee and full moon will occur on the same night. This type of supermoon only occurs approximately ever 14 months; last year's brightest supermoon occurred in August, and the next brilliant supermoon will be seen in November 2016.

Via Business Insider.
Science
Space
Astronomy
Moon

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