Moonday night: Skywatchers revel in one of the most impressive celestial events of the year
Sunday 23 June 2013
The night skies were graced by the arrival of the “supermoon” this weekend, offering skywatchers around the globe one of the most impressive celestial events of the year.
Astronomers call it a “perigee full moon”, a relatively rare moment when a full Moon coincides with it reaching its closest point to Earth.
At its peak, which occurred at 4am on Sunday in the UK, the Moon came within 222,000 miles of the planet, making it 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than at its furthest point from the planet.
But the “supermoon” is mostly an optical illusion. For most of the night, the human eye finds it hard to notice much difference, but when it is close to the horizon, the contrast with trees and buildings fools the brain into exaggerating the slight change in size.
“The ‘supermoon’ might look bigger than normal if you see it in the evening when the Moon’s just rising, but the real size difference isn’t big enough to notice,” wrote Shari Balouchi in Sky and Telescope magazine.
Those who missed seeing the Moon in its full glory should still be able to catch the event tonight and perhaps even Tuesday as well. After that, you’ll have to wait until August 2014.
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
Germanwings plane crash: Andreas Lubitz 'had eyesight problems' and woke from nightmares 'screaming we’re going down'
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...