Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bigger Moon!

We will see the moon appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter next week!  It will be the 'biggest' moon for two decades:
  • On 19 March, the full moon will appear unusually large in the night sky as it reaches a point in its cycle known as 'lunar perigee'.

    Stargazers will be treated to a spectacular view when the moon approaches Earth at a distance of 221,567 miles in its elliptical orbit - the closest it will have passed to our planet since 1992.

    The full moon could appear up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter in the sky, especially when it rises on the eastern horizon at sunset or is provided with the right atmospheric conditions.
There is a suggestion that the resultant tidal effect might have an effect on earthquakes:
  • ...according to Dr Victor Gostin, a Planetary and Environmental Geoscientist at Adelaide University, there may be a link between large-scale earthquakes in places around the equator and new and full moon situations.

    He said: "This is because the Earth-tides (analogous to ocean tides) may be the final trigger that sets off the earthquake."
Hmmm - not sure about that last bit, but it should be a spectacular sight.


Methuselah said...

Apparently, when the moon is low in the sky, the moon looks bigger, but in reality is not. If you look at it through a cardboard tube, the illusion is broken. That applies to day-to-day moon watching, but presumably in this case it will genuinely be bigger...

Asclepius said...

Another interesting fact; if you close one eye you can obscure the moon behind the thumbnail of your outstretched arm.

If you look at your thumbnail right now, it is hard to imagine that the moon appears smaller in the sky. But it does! The same trick works for the sun.