Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ready for SUPER MOON?

Have you been inundated by Super Moon mass emails or Super Moon postings by your friends on Zuckerberg's Website? It happens every year or so. I remember this photoshopped image last year when it was about to happen.

This year we are getting another. Here is the new one.

If you are prone to imagination, as I am, you might be able to squeeze in there a bunch of kids on bicycles with one of them carrying a juvenile extra-terrestrial wrapped in a blanket on his handlebars.
But don't get all excited and ready to see a moon fill your eyes on June 23rd.
It won't happen.
What does happen once every year is that The Moon orbits Earth in its near approach or perigee of roughly 226,600 miles or 362,600 kilometers and this year that day will fall on 23 June. On that day, The Moon will be a little over 10% closer to Earth than it is at its apogee.
The Moon's orbital eccentricity is about 0.0549. That's not a lot. The eccentricity of a perfect circle is 0.0.
So while "Super Moon" will appear to be larger in the sky, don't look for the eye-filling/sky-filling images you see on your emails or on Zuckerberg's website. Between its perigee and apogee, The Moon's growth in size is only about 14% - hardly noticeable unless you put two photos of each event next to each other. Like this one, that I got from Wikipedia.

Not nearly as fun...huh?

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