Check out the su­per­moon next Mon­day

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS -

A SU­PER­MOON is about to hap­pen and Mans­field res­i­dents are urged to go out­side and take a look.

Hap­pen­ing next Mon­day, Novem­ber 14 - this will be a record break­ing ‘su­per­moon’ - the big­gest in 70 years since Jan­uary 1948 and the clos­est full moon in the 21st cen­tury.

Dur­ing the event, which will hap­pen on the eve of Novem­ber 14, the moon will ap­pear up to 14 per cent big­ger and 30 per cent brighter than an aver­age full moon.

This is t he clos­est t he moon will get to Earth un­til Novem­ber 25, 2034. What is a su­per­moon? NASA ex­plained, be­cause the moon has an el­lip­ti­cal or­bit, one side - called the perigee - is about 48,280km (30,000 miles) closer to Earth than the other side (the apogee).

When the sun, the moon, and Earth line up as the moon or­bits Earth, that’s known as syzygy.

When this Earth-moon-sun sys­tem oc­curs with the perigee side of the moon fac­ing us, and the moon hap­pens to be on the op­po­site side of Earth from the sun, we get what’s called a perigee-syzygy.

That causes the moon to ap­pear much big­ger and brighter in our sky than usual, and it’s re­ferred to as a su­per­moon - or more t ech­ni­cally, a perigee moon.

Su­per­moons aren’t all that un­com­mon - one oc­curred on Oc­to­ber 16, and af­ter the Novem­ber 14 su­per-su­per­moon, there will be an­other one on De­cem­ber 14.

But be­cause the Novem­ber 14 moon be­comes full within about two hours of perigee, it’s go­ing to look the big­gest it has in nearly seven decades.

“The full moon of Novem­ber 14 is not only the clos­est full moon of 2016, but also the clos- est full moon to date in the 21st cen­tury,” says NASA.

“The full moon won’t come this close to Earth again un­til Novem­ber 25, 2034.”

De­pend­ing on where you’re view­ing it from, the dif­fer­ence be­tween a su­per­moon and a reg­u­lar full moon can be stark, or dif­fi­cult to tell.

I f t he moon i s hang­ing high over­head, and you have no build­ings or land­marks to com­pare it to, it can be tricky to tell that it’s larger than usual.

But if you’re view­ing from a spot where the moon is sit­ting closer to the hori­zon, it can cre­ate what’s known as ‘moon il­lu­sion’.

“When the moon is near the hori­zon, it can look un­nat­u­rally large when viewed through trees, build­ings, or other fore­ground ob­jects,” says NASA.

“The ef­fect i s an op­ti­cal il­lu­sion, but that fact doesn’t take away from the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

FLY ME TO THE MOON: Reach out and touch the moon next Mon­day when a ‘su­per­moon’ oc­curs. PHOTO: Ken Rains­bury

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