This Supermoon Hogs a Spotlight Sunday (Sorry, Perseid Meteors)

August 9, 2014 - Supermoon

This is a summer of a supermoon, with three full moons in a row that seem bigger and brighter than normal. But this weekend outlines a year’s many super-duper supermoon: When a moon rises on Sunday evening, it’ll be as tighten as a full moon ever gets to Earth during 2014.

Purists will protest: At a closest, a full moon is about 14 percent wider and 30 percent brighter than it is during a farthest. That disproportion is probably unfit to understand with a exposed eye. It becomes conspicuous usually when we review dual photos of a full moon taken underneath a same conditions during opposite times of year.

What’s more, a moon comes as tighten if not closer each month. What creates Sunday’s moon so super is merely a fact that this month’s lunar perigee (221,796 miles during 1:46 p.m. ET) occurs during around a same time as a central impulse of a moon’s full proviso (2:09 p.m. ET).

For a nitty-gritty, check out a supermoon breakdowns during Universe Today, EarthSky and Sky Telescope.

Despite what a purists competence say, Supermoon Sunday provides a excellent forgive to demeanour during a moon and a night sky, that is something many of us don’t do enough. Even observers in light-polluted locales like New York City can make out a moon — in fact, final month’s supermoon was a co-star in New York’s Manhattanhenge double-header.

One plan for supermoon-watching would be to take in a knowledge around midnight, when your observation plcae is during a smallest stretch from a moon. But to maximize a drama, interest out a mark with a transparent perspective to a east, and watch for a moon creeping adult into a sky around sunset. This online calculator from can tell we when moonrise occurs in your area, and a Clear Sky Chart shows a forecasts for sky conditions.

It’s obvious that a moon looks bigger when it’s nearby a setting than when it’s high in a sky, nonetheless there’s some discuss about a reason for a perceptual “moon illusion.” Some contend it’s given a mind is connected to review a distance of a rising moon with human objects during a setting — or it might be given of a approach we understand clouds as they pierce from a setting to directly overhead.

Whatever a reason, a moon looks some-more considerable when it’s on a rise. And it also creates for a improved design when we can embody something engaging in a forehead of your supermoon snapshot. Like a French Alps, for instance.

Image: MoonMike Long

If a skies are pale all night on Sunday, keep dual things in mind. First, a moon will be roughly as large and splendid on Monday (or on Saturday, for that matter). Second, a Slooh practical look-out is formulation an online moon-watching celebration starting during 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday. The uncover front around Slooh’s website as good as

You’ll be means to watch live streaming video of what Slooh calls a “Mega-Moon” from several locations in North America, with explanation by Slooh’s Bob Berman and Paul Cox. There’ll also be available coverage of a night’s moonrise from Dubai, Australia and other locations around a globe. Viewers can ask questions during a uncover by tweeting with a hashtag #SloohMegaMoon.

“Nothing in a sky is some-more distinguished than a rising of an enormous-looking full moon,” Berman pronounced in a news release. “And this will be largest given Mar 2011.”

If we snap a super image of a supermoon, greatfully share it with us: Just use a hashtag #NBCSupermoon on Twitter or Instagram, or pass it along regulating NBC News’ FirstPerson photo-upload website.

There’s one super-duper downside to a supermoon: It’s entrance during only a wrong time for a Perseid meteor shower, that hits a annual rise around Aug. 11 to 13. During that time frame, a glisten of a just-past-full moon will overcome a sharpened stars probably all night.

The Perseids start each Aug when Earth passes by a tide of vast courage left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle. When a observation conditions are during their best, skywatchers could see scores of meteors in a march of an hour. This year, there’s a possibility of spotting a brightest fireballs, though not most else.

The best time to demeanour for meteors would be shortly after sunset, when a moon is still low in a easterly — or only before sunrise, when a moon is low in a west. You can make things easier by positioning yourself in a “moonshadow,” where a moon’s hoop is dark from sight.

If you’re adult for a meteor hunt, a customary discipline apply: Go distant divided from city lights, where a skies are transparent and open. Bring a loll chair or a blanket, and make yourself comfortable. For some-more tips, check out last year’s observation beam to a Perseids, and this year’s Perseid foresee from NASA.

Slooh has scheduled online coverage of a Perseids starting during 7 p.m. ET Tuesday, featuring live views from a Institute of Astrophysics in a Canary Islands. There’ll also be available video segments about meteors, and viewers can ask questions during a uncover by regulating a hashtag #PerseidsSloohsation.

If a Perseids are a washout, don’t be perturbed — make a note to take in a Orionids in October or a Leonids in November, when a moon won’t be so intrusive. And if it’s any consolation, a Perseids should be ideal in 2015.

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