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Supermoons

by Luiza Azancot. Average Reading Time: almost 2 minutes.

Have you looked at the sky lately? Tomorrow is an excellent opportunity to do so, because the supermoon show is worth it!

This summer we were granted 3 consecutive supermoons. The first was on the 12th of July, the best on the 10th of August and the third will be on the 9th of September. On these dates the Moon has no super powers nor does it grow miraculously… but it seems extra-large.

Here is why: the Moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle around the Earth. It is an ellipse with a point closer to Earth – perigee – and point furthest from Earth – apogee. The difference between these two points is approximately 50,000 km, a small cosmic difference, but noticeable when the moon is full.

When a full moon coincides with the day of the lunar perigee, the moon looks huge and, like many other astronomical phenomena, fills us with awe for the beauty and mysteries of the heavens. I claim that the supermoon of August 10 is the best because not only the full moon coincides with perigee day  but also coincides with the hour of perigee.

The supermoons of 2014 deserved a video made by NASA Science. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1KKpeW231Y&feature=youtu.be   The initial photograph on this video was shot by Miguel Claro, a Portuguese astrophotographer who has won a fair share of awards.

When the supermoon is near the horizon, that is, when it rises, it looks even bigger… The Lisbon Astronomical Observatory reports that the Moon rises at 8:16 pm, 1h ½ after perigee.

Check out locally at what time the moon rises in your corner of the world. Whatever that time is, my advice is to go out, face the rising moon with eyes on the horizon.

Do supermoons have some astrological significance? Astrologer Richard Nolle says they do, but I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that tomorrow’s supermoon provides an extraordinary moment of beauty, free of charge, a gift from the Universe.

Will it be a time for meditation, a spiritual moment or an occasion for a toast?  That is your choice.

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