Basic Astronomy

Second Super Moon of 2014 is scheduled to sizzle on Friday night

28th Jan 2014: Don't forget to check our Moon this Friday night. The second of the five supermoons of 2014 would be visible on Friday, 30th January 2014. The first supermoon of 2014 appeared on 1st January - making January the single calendar month with two supermoons until January 2018.

The remaining three supermoons of 2014 will be visible on 12th July, 10th August and 9th September. The Moon will be closest and brightest to Earth on 2014 on 10th August, 2014.

Super Moon 2013

The actual size of the Moon will not change but it will look bigger as it will be in closest distance from Earth within this year. Since the moon moves around Earth in an elliptical orbit, its precise distance from Earth varies with time depending on where it is in the orbit.

This time, the moon will enter its full phase about half hour after it passes the point in its orbit nearest to Earth (known as perigee). Due to this closeness from the Earth, this full moon will look about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent wider than it looks at the farthest point in its orbit (known as apogee). So moon will NOT be 10 times or 20 times bigger than its usual size as speculated by many of the websites.

This year, on the date of super moon, Earth will be within 356,989 km of Moon. This is about 2 percent closer than average perigee distance (which is 362,570 km). The average distance of apogee is 405,410 km.

The term supermoon came from astrologer Richard Nolle over 30 years ago in 1979. During the phenomenon, the Earth, moon and sun are all in a line, with the moon in its nearest approach to earth. Prior to 1979, supermoons were called perigee full moon or perigee new moon.

As with any full moon, 30 January super moon will look larger when it will be close to the horizon.

There are no risk to mankind due to super moon. Only tides will be stronger than usual.

The biggest super moon of 21st century will be visible on 6th December 2052.








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Apogee and Perigee of moon in 2013

Apogee and Perigee of moon in 2014

Apogee and Perigee of moon in 2015

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