Celestial delight: Super Moon graces sky

23 February, 2019, 03:41 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • Tonight’s ‘Super Snow Moon’ Could Be A Celestial Treat

The average distance between Earth and the Moon is 238,855 miles. The moon will be on its biggest phase, and also very close to the Earth, resulting in a moon that is 14% bigger and about 26% brighter.

February's Super Snow Moon is the second of three lunar spectacles that Irish stargazers have been treated to this year. The technical name is a perigee-syzygy. In January, we had an eclipse during a super blood wolf moon; the third super moon will come up in March. Given that it is a Super Moon today, it is being called a Super Snow Moon.

It'll appear especially large just as it rises above the horizon thanks to "moon illusion" where the brain thinks the moon is bigger than it really is given its location.

February's moon has also been called the "Bone Moon" or "Hunger Moon" due to the lack of food available in the winter, added "Old Farmer's Almanac", a reference book containing weather forecasts, planting charts, astronomical data, recipes, and articles. The Moon appears brighter and larger than the common full Moon.

Good news for sky watchers and selenophiles, the next full moon is set to be the biggest and brightest of the year, according to NASA. the "super snow moon" as it is being called, will cross the skies next Tuesday on February 19.

The heavy snowfall known to occur during this time of the year, along with the problems of food scarcity which made hunting hard for people years ago is also one of the reasons for its secondary title, "The Hunger Moon" according to the Almanac. So, see the snow moon, then watch the snowstorm.

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That's because supermoons, or a perigee moon, occur when the Moon is at its closest approach to Earth and looks about 15 per cent bigger and up to 30 per cent brighter than a full moon at apogee (when the Moon is furthest away from the Earth).

"A supermoon is a celestial wonder because it is when the moon can appear nearly 30% brighter and almost 14% larger than a typical full moon", said Slooh astronomer Dr Paige Godfrey.

"It was awesome", said 7-year-old Cedrick, a second grade pupil who is interested in astronomy. However, the moon will be more visible after it rises at 5.11pm.

A Science Centre Singapore spokesman had said earlier that if the sky was clear, the best time to view the phenomenon would be at moonrise at around 7.30pm.

The next full moon is falling on March 20 and it will also be a Super Moon.

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