Look to the skies this Saturday night, and you’ll see the biggest and brightest supermoon of the year! In fact, Science.com says that the full moon on March 19th of this year marks the closest and brightest Earth’s moon has orbited the planet in eighteen years.
A ‘Supermoon’ is a term coined by astrologer Richard Nolle over thirty years ago. It refers to a moon that reaches the perigee of it’s orbit around Earth at a nearly new or full phase. The perigee is the closest point to Earth in the moon’s elliptical orbit. When the moon reaches it’s perigee this Saturday, it will be 100% full, making the satellite appear bigger and brighter than it’s been in years. (NASA.gov)
You may ask how a “Lunar Perigee” is determined? A Lunar Perigee occurs when the moon reaches the closest point to Earth, as it travels along on it’s elliptical path. Alternately, the moon is said to be at apogee when at it’s furthermost position.
The moon during lunar perigee is roughly 30,000 miles closer to Earth than at lunar apogee, or roughly 221,000+ miles away.
If you’re wondering what the supermoon will actually look like to the naked eye this Saturday night, Universetoday.com has the pictures, courtesy of NASA
At the very least, when the moon rises at sunset in the early evening of March 19, it’ll probably produce a great photo op.