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Check out the super supermoon on Sunday night

Discussion started by Paul Dorian 4 months ago

An example supermoon image

The weather looks like it will cooperate and if you step outside on Sunday night you may notice the moon is looking bigger and brighter than usual. In fact, it may very well look bigger than at any time in the last 68 years as the moon will be the closest it has been to Earth since January 1948. This month’s supermoon will be the biggest of the year and the biggest of the 21st century so far and it won’t look like this again until November 2034.

A supermoon is defined as the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth. Supermoons generally appear to be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons. This month’s supermoon is an extra special one as it becomes full within about two hours of perigee which is the point in the moon's orbit when it is closest to Earth. According to EarthSky.org, the moon will turn precisely full on Monday, November 14 at 1:52 p.m. UTC, or 8:52 a.m. ET.

As far as tides are concerned, full moons do bring higher-than-normal tides and perigee full moons bring the highest (and lowest) tides of all.  Each month on the day of the full moon, the Earth, sun and moon are aligned with the Earth in between and this line-up creates wide-ranging tides known as spring tides. High spring tides climb especially high and on the same day, low tides plunge especially low.  The extra-close full supermoon accentuates these monthly spring tides.  Usually these accentuated tides are not a concern in terms of flooding unless there is a strong weather system moving into coastal regions in the same general time period – and it looks like that will not be of any concern.

Meteorologist Paul Dorian

Vencore, Inc.

 

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