Thursday, March 17, 2011

Super Full Moon Rising!

The winter solstice full moon of 2010 rising over my barn in Brandon Township -
framed by walnut trees and atmospheric ice.
photo by Jonathan Schechter

Look to the east at sunset on Saturday, March 19th and you are in for a celestial treat: a beautiful
swollen orb slowly rising into the sky and looking so close you might think you can reach out and
grab hold. The folks at NASA SCIENCE NEWS state, "The last full moon so big and close to Earth
occurred in March of 1983."  The moon appears bigger-- no it did not grow -- because of the
oval shape of our moon's orbit around the Earth and the moon's position in relation to the Earth.
This moon is called a super perigee moon and may appear 30% brighter and 14% bigger
 than a 'normal' full moon.

NASA science geeks say the best time to look at and take photos is when the moon is near
 the  horizon and smaller objects are in the foreground to frame the moon.  Kind of like a trick
 fisherman know well: Hold that small bass way out in front of you and your small fish looks like a "monster" bass. Will the moon being close to Earth spawn more earthquakes?  Statistics say no,
but the fact of the matter is clear: There will be a slight increase in gravitational pull and the moon might efffect tidal waters by up to six inches. But you can be sure that if another deadly quake or tsunami hits our battered and bleeding planet on the19th our beautiful moon will take much of the blame.  
Deserved or not.   


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