Tomorrow Saturday March 18 the Moon will be closer to Earth than that it has been since 1993!
The "supermoon" appears 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than lesser full Moons (as always this is with weather permitting). A casual observer probably won't tell the difference.
This full Moon almost coincides with perigee (which is when the Moon is closest to Earth). That means a very large range of high and low ocean tides. The highest tides lag by a few days depending on your location. For example, here in San Francisco, CA the highest tide (6.5 feet) will be attained on March 22. Any storms at sea now can aggravate coastal flooding. Such an extreme tide is known as a perigean spring tide (spring from the German word springen – to "spring up," and not the spring season).
Try to catch the Moon near the horizon, and it can appear enormous. This is due to the famous “Moon illusion” where a Moon looks incredibly large when it is seen near trees, buildings or other foreground objects. You can check the times for Moonrise and Moonset for your area by going to these websites:
For example, did you know we can see more than half the Moon from Earth? Yes we can actually see 59 percent (almost three-fifths)!
Why? The Moon's rotation is uniform but its rate of revolution is not. So sometimes we see just around the edge of each limb!
The images you see in this article is a small version of a half-gigabyte gigantic image of the Moon. This image was stitched together from images taken by a Moon-orbiting satellite called the Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter.
P.S. Happy Mooning!
Monday Night offers Lunar Eclipse for North America
Get ready for WINTER SOLSTICE coming on December 20 this year. That's the shortest day and longers night in the Northern Hemisphere.
If you live in North America you'll get a chance to see a TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE on the very same day! Well, that is assuming the skies are clear, of course!
Here on the West Coast the lunar eclipse begins around 9:30 p.m. PST Monday. The entire eclipse will be observable and it lasts just a few hours.
Forty years ago, July 19,1969, I was a young boy who watched - along with millions of other earthlings - as Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, and Neil Armstrong left prints in the dust of another world for the very first time. It doesn't get more historic than that!
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area you can celebrate that historic moment on Sunday, July 19, 2009 at Moonfest, held at NASA Ames Research Center, where you can enjoy all things lunar -- from MoonPies to model rocket launches.
"Moonfest 2009: From Apollo to LCROSS, and Beyond" is a free festival for the whole family.
While the event will focus on the Apollo 11 landing, it will also showcase NASA's other lunar accomplishments, such as Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite mission, which launched successfully in June 2009. Moonfest will also feature scientific talks.
Moonfest 2009: From Apollo to LCROSS, and Beyond Sunday, July 19, 2009 12:00 - 6:00 PM NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, California FREE Admission