Saturday, March 19, 2011

Super Moon

Tonight, we have a PERIGEE of the Moon! I took these two photos at 9:32. It is hard to see that the moon looks larger than normal in the photos. I wanted to take photos earlier when there was more light to try to photograph the moon lower in the sky with something in the background to try to show its largeness. But, we had a very cloudy evening sky and I couldn't see the moon. I was happy that the clouods cleared off enough to see as much of the moon as I did.
Below, I've posted some information that I found on the internet. Before today, I had never heard of the Apogee and Perigee of the Moon. With all the hype about this "super moon" that we were going to see tonight, I wanted to understand WHY it was going to look larger than normal.
It has been 18 years since the last Perigee of the Moon.
APOGEE and PERIGEE of The Moon

Apogee and Perigee refer to the distance from the Earth to the moon. APOGEE is the furthest point from the earth. PERIGEE is the closest point to the earth and it is in this stage that the moon appears larger. Looking at the moon in the sky without anything to compare it to, you wouldn't notice any size difference. But the difference in size can in fact be quite significant.
If you were to photograph a full moon at APOGEE and PERIGEE (using the same lens), here's how the two sizes would compare:

Astronomers have formulas for computing the exact distance at any point in time, but the average distance from Earth is 237,700 miles.

Effects of Apogee and Perigee

The APOGEE and PERIGEE of the moon have an affect on the tides here on Earth. When the moon is at APOGEE, the furthest distance from the Earth, it has less gravitational pull which, along with other factors that influence the tides, can contribute to lower tides or lower variation in the high/low tide level. When the moon is at PERIGEE, closer to the Earth, there is much more gravitational pull which contributes to the opposite effect: higher tides or greater variation in the high and low tide.


PeregrineBlue said...

great job audrey, what amazing pics. i forgot to go outside for this since it's raining here and i'm all cozied up. you had mentioned one of banners being gone from my shop. indeed, i unlisted it to give to my firend maria cecilia when i went to chile but, when i have a bit more time, i will make you one gladly

dosfishes said...

Fab pics Audrey, the moon is spectaclar. We had a few c.ounds but not enough to block out this beauty. I half expected to see the headless horseman from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow go riding by. xox Corrine

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Great photos Audrey!!!
We had about 1 hour time window for photos---uploaded the first camera and not ONE came out. When it was low on the horizon it was a reddish cheddar color...omg....beautiful! DH even came out on the porch to look!
I need a better camera for what I want to do; it's just parting with the cash.
I'll look at your photos instead....


Marlene said...

Thank you for the info, I too had not heard of this effect of the moon and hadn't gotten around to looking it up. I did notice the large moon the night before last, but last night it was overcast.

Carol said...

Your pics are great. I especially like the view with just a few branches in front of it.

I noticed how big the moon was a couple of days ago, then heard why on the news a few days later. I never heard about it before either. Makes you wonder if it had any effect on what caused the recent earthquakes.

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Wonderful posting!!

martinealison said...


Annotated Margins said...

I only got to see it behind the shimmer of dark rain clouds. Nonetheless, it was breathtaking.