After the election results last week, you probably think nothing could surprise you, but the supermoon might. In a good way, this time. The occurrence is being touted by many, including NASA, as a grand, eye-popping spectacle. Others, meh, not so much. All agree, though, tomorrow’s full moon will loom larger and brighter than any you’ve seen in your life.
That’s because the moon rarely comes this close to Earth 1 — can you blame it? What with the noise and pollution, the chaos and stoopidity, the damn humans, this place is a disaster. Out there, in the far distant galaxy, it’s quiet and orderly, everything works according to plan. Why tempt fate? Heck, last time the moon dared to creep this close was January 26, 1948; Harry Truman was president and a first-class stamp was 3¢.
It’s taken 68 years for the moon to return. There’s one last supermoon scheduled in 2016, on December 14th, although it won’t be as close or as ‘super’ as this one. After that, the moon reverts to its usual standoffishness until November 25, 2034. So better look now while you have the chance.
The show peaks tomorrow morning, November 14th, when the moon reaches the crest of its full phase around 6:30 a.m. (Eastern time). Although, it may shine brighter when the sky is darker (and your eyes aren’t bleary with sleep) tonight and Monday night. So lift your eyes toward the heavens, earthlings, and be dazzled by the wonder of it all. The world carries on, despite us.
copyright © 2016 the whirly girl
1 On average, the moon is nearly 239,000 miles away, but today and tomorrow that gap shrinks to 221,500. A difference of roughly 18,000 miles, the equivalent of a block and half in space travel. Astronomers measure the distance by shooting lasers to the moon’s surface, which bounce off mirrors (retroreflectors) left behind on Apollo missions and by two Soviet landers. Pretty cool, eh?