Watch for the Supermoon this weekend

If you are in need of something that is bright and uplifting, literally, after an exhausting week, Nature has it ready for you this weekend. A rare “Supermoon” will be visible starting on Sunday evening.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Supermoon Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

What is a Supermoon?  The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not a perfect circle, but elliptical, with one side closer to Earth than the other.  As a result, the distance between the Moon and Earth varies through the year.  When the Moon is at its closest, it’s called “perigee”.  When it’s furthest away, it’s called “apogee”.  When a full moon coincides with perigee, being closest to the Earth, it’s called a Supermoon.  In fact, the moon hasn’t been this close during full moon since 1948 and won’t be again until 2034.

According to space.com’s article “Supermoon November 2016:  When, Where & How to See It”, the Supermoon will look about 14% larger than an average full moon, and an impressive 30% brighter. More information at http://www.space.com/34515-supermoon-guide.html

A favorite place for us to watch the rising moon, as well as planets and constellations, is from the Lake Alpine dam. This location offers the most expansive horizon in all directions of Innsbrook. This time of the year you will also hear coyotes howling across the Tyrolean Valley, seemingly in competition with each other. Let’s see if a Supermoon really brings them out!

Hope to see you on the Alpine Dam after dusk, around 6 pm, on Sunday evening, weather and clear skies permitting of course. Just a note that if Sunday evening is cloudy, Monday evening should be good viewing as well since the full moon and perigee are technically on Monday morning.

Rich & Kath for the Innsbrook Nature Group

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