Is September’s Harvest Moon a Supermoon? Yes and No
September 13, 2016 - Supermoon
What’s in a name? Astrologers and astronomers are carrying a bit of a discuss about that when it comes to a disproportion between a big, orange Harvest Moon on Sept. 16, and a trifecta of supermoons to follow in October, Nov and December.
The arriving Harvest Moon, so named since it’s a closest full Moon to a tumble equinox on Sept. 22, will be generally splendid this year since it’s nearby perigee. What’s that, we who slacked in scholarship category ask? A moon is in perigee when it’s during a closest indicate to Earth in a monthly orbit.
The Harvest Moon will make an coming during 7:05 p.m. Eastern Time on Sept.16. Perigee comes around 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Sept. 18.
“So, it’s not a biggest probable Moon on a sky’s dome, yet it’s slightly bigger than usual,” Earthsky.org explained on a website. “Still, in any year we competence consider a Harvest Moon looks bigger or brighter or some-more orange.”
Why is that?
“The orange tone of a moon nearby a setting is a loyal earthy effect,” Earthsky.org went on. “It stems from a fact that — when we demeanour toward a setting — we are looking by a larger density of Earth’s atmosphere than when we gawk adult and overhead. The atmosphere scatters blue light – that’s because a sky looks blue. The larger density of atmosphere in a instruction of a setting scatters blue light many effectively, yet it lets red light pass by to your eyes. So a moon nearby a setting takes on a yellow or orange or reddish hue.”
- See Also: 2016 Meteor Shower Guide
So, if a Moon is bigger, because isn’t it a supermoon?
Actually, it’s not bigger. It’s what a French call trompe l’oeil, or “fool a eye,” and what astronomers call a “Moon Illusion.”
Astrologer Richard Nolle, who coined a tenure supermoon, says a Sept. 16 Harvest Moon doesn’t validate underneath his clarification of a full Moon that occurs during or nearby — within 90 percent — of a closest proceed to Earth in a given orbit.
However, astrophysicist Fred Espenak, a NASA scientist emeritus, lists a Sept 16, Oct. 16, Nov. 14 and Dec. 13 full Moons as supermoons, and also includes a Jan 2017 full Moon on a list.
Their feud comes from ambiguity on how “90 percent of perigee” is measured.
Regardless of that clarification we accept, a Sept. 16 Harvest Moon should be a stunner — if a continue cooperates. Check your internal foresee here.
When Is a Next Meteor Shower?
There are several some-more meteor showers this year, including a Nov. 16-17 Leonids, that have combined some of a biggest meteor storms in story with thousands of meteors per notation during a camber of 15 minutes. Also, a Dec. 13-14 Geminids are customarily regarded as one of a excellent meteor showers of a year, yet a Dec. 13 supermoon could rinse them out.
Here’s a meteor showering calendar by 2016.
Oct. 7, Draconids: This showering favors a Northern Hemisphere. What sets this showering detached from others is that a Draconids are many expected to fly in a dusk hours. It’s customarily a sleeper, earthsky.org says, yet in singular instances, a constellation Draco a Dragon in a northern sky can glow off hundreds of meteors in a singular hour. A waxing crescent moon could land some on this shower.
Oct. 20-21,Orionids: The glisten of a loss gibbous moon in a early morning hours customarily before morning could land with a Orionids, that typically furnish 10 to 20 meteors per hour. Most meteors in this showering tend to tumble after midnight, and they’re typically during their best in a diminutive hours customarily before dawn. The Orionids also infrequently benefaction splendid fireballs.
Nov. 4-5, South Taurids: Though a best observation conditions are expected to be after midnight on Nov. 5, a Taurids are really long-lasting, from Sept. 25-Nov. 25. They customarily offer about 7 meteors an hour, yet a Taurids are famous for carrying a high commission of fireballs. This is a initial of dual Taurid meteor showers, and it always adds a few some-more meteors to a South Taurids’ rise night.
Nov. 11-12, North Taurids: This showering is long-lasting, too, from Oct. 12-Dec. 2, yet medium as good with customarily about 7 meteors an hour, with many of a activity holding place around midnight. The meteors are delayed moving, yet really bright. The waxing gibbous moon could dwarf this year’s shower.
Nov. 16-17, Leonids: Some of a biggest meteor storms in story have been compared with his event, that can furnish rates of thousands of meteors per notation during a camber of 15 minutes, as occurred on Nov. 17, 1966. “Some who witnessed a 1966 Leonid meteor charge pronounced they felt as if they indispensable to hold a ground, so clever was a sense of Earth plowing along by space, fording a meteoroid stream,” earthsky.org says. In many years, though, a constellation of Leo a Lion whimpers rather than roars, producing about 10 to 15 meteors an hour, generally customarily before emergence this year. Unfortunately, a splendid light of a loss gibbous moon will offer some competition.
Dec.13-14, Geminids: The final meteor showering of a year is customarily one of a excellent meteor showers manifest in possibly a Northern or a Southern Hemisphere, yet a full moon will be out all night, conquering a typically inclusive Geminids, that can furnish adult to 120 meteors per hour. The showering peaks around 2 a.m.
Dec. 21-22, Ursids: This teenager meteor showering mostly goes unnoticed. Produced by a dirt grains left behind by a comet Tuttle, it produces customarily about 5 to 10 meteors an hour. The showering runs from Dec. 17-25, yet it should rise around a 21st. The moon will be 23 days aged during a time of rise activity, so it shouldn’t benefaction too most of a problem.
Photo by Sandy Auriene Sullivan around Flickr Commons