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Supermoon Sunday Will Be Biggest Moon of 2014

Science & Tech  (tags: science, moon, supermoon, space, astronomy, interesting )

- 1385 days ago -
On Sunday night, have a look at the moon -- it will be bigger and brighter than at any other time this year. The full moon on Sunday is a supermoon - one that is up to 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than a regular full moon.

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Michael O (176)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 1:13 pm
It's also an extra-special supermoon – the biggest and brightest of three in a row – the previous one was on July 12, and the next one will be on Sept. 9.

That may make it a nuisance for anyone hoping to watch the Perseid meteor shower near its Aug. 12 peak, as the moon's glare will make it hard to spot many of the meteors.

But the supermoon is a special astronomical treat in itself, as it's literally the closest look you'll get at the moon all year.

In fact, that's what makes it appear bigger – during a supermoon, the moon is closer to the Earth than it is during a regular full moon. That's because the moon's orbit around the Earth is elliptical and lopsided, so that it's closer to the Earth on one side of the orbit than the other.

On average, the moon is 384,000 kilometres away, but it is about 363,000 kilometres away at the closest point, its perigee. And it is around 406,000 kilometres away at its furthest point, its apogee.

That means that a full moon that happens during the perigee is around 43,000 kilometres closer than a full moon during the apogee, making it appear bigger.

Supermoons are moons that take place on the same day as the perigee, and on average, they happen about once every 13˝ months.

On Sunday, the moon will turn full during the same hour as the perigee – "arguably making it an extra-super Moon," according to NASA Science News. The astronomy news website EarthSky is calling it a "super" supermoon. Slooh, which streams astronomy events live online, is calling it a "mega-moon" and is hosting an observing event on the internet.

The Aug. 10 perigee, which takes place at 17:44 GMT (1:44 p.m. ET) will be the closest of the year – at that point, the moon will be just 356,896 kilometres away, according to the Lunar Perigee and Apogee Calculator hosted by Fourmilab.

According to NASA, the moon will become full less than half an hour later, at 18:09 GMT (2:09 p.m. ET)

In most populated areas of Canada, the moon will rise between 8 and 9 p.m. (although it will be a little later than that in the far north), and is best viewed shortly after moonrise for the most impressive effect – not only will it be closer and fuller at that point than later in the evening, but it tends to appear bigger when it's close to the horizon.

Sharon L (132)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 1:20 pm
Wonder if the weather my way will be good to see this time.
Last time it was raining.

Roger G (154)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 1:22 pm
noted, thanks

David C (131)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 3:58 pm
hopefully we won't have clouds because I've been waiting for this since last month!

Animae C (513)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 4:51 pm
Clear skies in south Australia, it was already huge last night!

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 5:27 pm
Will def be looking 4 it as it's gonna be a beautiful clear night here. Thx Michael

Maureen C (4)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 11:46 pm
I've been watching the moon tonight (Saturday to Sunday night) through my computer room window, and it's already pretty spectacular: I'll definitely be watching again tonight.

Has anybody ever read Oscar Wilde's play 'Salome'? It's easy reading, and essentially prose poetry, with the moon as a character in the play. I frequently go back to read it during these beautiful full moons.

Anne W (11)
Saturday August 9, 2014, 11:52 pm
Thank you for this. We are having rain this morning, so not sure if I will see anything tonight… I will keep my eyes open though!

Alexandra G (250)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 6:56 am
very interesting article, thanks Michael

Past Member (0)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 12:29 pm
I'll be on the lookout.

Aileen P (40)
Sunday August 10, 2014, 1:39 pm
Thank you.

MmAway M (506)
Monday August 11, 2014, 2:34 am
Missed it! Dang 2:32 am,I have been looking and watching the Moon the last 2 nights! Think I was wearing a hoodie!

MmAway M (506)
Monday August 11, 2014, 2:38 am
Missed it! Dang 2:32 am,I have been looking and watching the Moon the last 2 nights! Think I was wearing a hoodei! OVER MY EYES!!! Just taking another peek! No light in the sky at all, there is a dang fog here. Last night was awesome...wonder what tonight would of been like! SIGH!

Phil M (6)
Monday August 11, 2014, 6:55 pm
Did not see it .

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 8:37 pm
Such moons are fascinating to observe, but sadly, this often depends on what the weather is like.
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