Catch The Supermoon in this Saturday

Wednesday, May 2nd 2012. | Science News

Super Moon in This WeekEvery now and then, people turn to the sky for an unbelievable show. The moon often stars in great celestial productions, but from time to time it puts a great one-man-show. This Saturday, make sure you catch the supermoon.

To some extent, announcing the supermoon seems a lot like writing the intro for some science fiction flick that’s about to premiere. But be assured what you’re going to witness this Saturday is not fiction, but hands on reality. Don’t assume this text pertains to the professional astronomers who can easily identify and name stars and planets. This Saturday, the moon puts on a show you’ll never forget.

Saturday, May 5th the moon will be at its closest point in its orbit towards Earth. This means you’re going to witness an event called supermoon. Basically, with the moon so close to Earth, it will appear enormous. The best thing is that this Saturday’s supermoon is the opening act for the other five major celestial events you have to catch a glimpse of this month.

If you want to see the biggest moon of 2012, then you should know that at 11:34 p.m. eastern time this Saturday the moon will be full and at its closest point on its orbit towards the Earth. What’s this closest point towards Earth you ask? Scientists called it perigee and it is set at 221,802 miles away. It means that thanks to reaching its perigee this full moon will be 16 times brighter and bigger than any other full moon you’d normally witness.

Interesting fact: Saturday’s supermoon has something that sets it apart from other such celestial events. The perigee and full moon are very close in time. The perigee will be reached at 11:35 p.m., one minute after the full moon.

According to NASA and other astronomers, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Astronomer Daniel Vogler with AccuWeather writes: “I looked back at other Super Moon data and cannot find any closer than that timing-wise, remarkable”. For example, last year’s Supermoon in March had the perigee and full moon occur 50 minutes apart.

With the moon so close to the Earth many worried the event will cause major natural calamities. But according to NOAA, there’s no need to worry because the lunar gravity will affect the tide water only by a few centimeters.

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