Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Super Moon on Saturday, March 19th!

On Saturday March 19th we will see a really big full Moon.  In fact, scientists call it a Super Moon.  (Creative bunch, aren’t they?)  The moon will look bigger than it has since March 1983. 
Full Moons look different in size due to the closeness of the Moon’s orbit to Earth.  Moons do not orbit the Earth in a circular orbit but rather in an elliptical orbit.  (The video here from NASA shows the elliptical orbit.)  On Saturday, the moon will be at the closest point to Earth in 18 years.  The Moon will look 14% larger and 30% brighter.  Time to take out your cameras and telescopes!
Some reporting on the internet has incorrectly hypothesized that the upcoming Super Moon influenced the tsunami in Japan last week.  This is not true.  The Moon does not have enough gravitational pull at any point in its elliptical orbit to influence tides as significantly as we saw in the horrific tsunami last week.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, we were unable to see the monn due to the cloud cover in Chicago. I would love it if you could send me your photgraphs! I will post on this website! Thank you.!