Saturday, March 19, 2011


Perhaps Ann Arbor, Michigan, wasn't the best place in the world to view the much-hyped "supermoon" tonight (for instance, check out these killer photos elsewhere in the world). But it was still pretty fantastic to see. It graced the downtown skyline with an abundant brightness that seemed to compete with the artificial neon lights of businesses on the ground. The perigee moon phenomenon occurs when a new or full moon is in its closest orbit to Earth. Tonight the moon was 211,600 miles away, the closest it's been in 18 years. The last full moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March 1993. "Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the moon's orbit," the NASA website says. Astrologer Richard Nolle, who coined the term supermoon in the 1970s, has warned of a "supermoon risk window" from March 16-22, saying there will be an increase in tidal surges and earthquakes. But scientists dispute that, and say the Japan earthquake had nothing to do with the supermoon. If you missed tonight's supermoon, sorry. You'll have to wait until 2029 to see the next one.

No comments:

Post a Comment