A super moon weekendMay 5th, 2012 at 8:13 pm by Tara Hastings under Weather
Not only is tonight a full moon but it’s also called a “super” moon. I’m not sure if that means we’re going to hear more people howling at the moon or not but at any rate it should be neat to see.
At 11:34pm eastern time the moon will reach its perigee or will be at its closest point to Earth. This happens because the moon doesn’t orbit around the Earth in a complete circle but rather an elliptical shape. This means there are times it is close or at its perigee or at its apogee which is the farthest point away. I’ve made a graphic to explain this a little more.
During the perigee the moon appears to be 14% larger and 30% brighter than the other full moons we see throughout the year. So if you need to get to bed early I would make sure you close the blinds and the drapes to make sure the extra moon light doesn’t keep your room lit up like a Christmas tree.
The moon is responsible for creating our ocean tides. So one might question “Are the tides higher when the moon is at its perigee?” I’m so glad you thought of this – Yes the tides are slightly higher however there’s no need to worry about flooding. According the the National Weather Service tides increase tides by only about one inch. Whew.
As always I would LOVE to see your photos of the “super moon” you can send them to email@example.com and I will try to use them in our newscasts or you can upload them to our website by clicking here.
So if you’ve had a few margarita’s on this Cinco de Mayo and “think” the moon looks bigger and brighter – it’s not the booze it’s really happening.