– By Anuj Ghimire (ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED HERE)
“Do not swear by the moon, for she changes constantly, then your love would also change.” ― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
And surely it does.
We gaze upon the night sky and see the ever changing moon. We even have various religious and cultural attachment to the Lunar cycle. People love to gaze at the full moon, take photographs of a full moon or even throw in some romantic cliches. Recently, you all might have heard a news about the Super-Moon of November 14, 2016. But what exactly is a Super-Moon?
Full moon vary in size because of the elliptical orbit of moon, the moon follows an elliptical path around the Earth with one side closer than the other. Since the moon follows an elliptical orbit at times it comes closer to the earth and at times it goes farther away. The scientific term for which is Perigee (Closest to earth) and Apogee (Farthest from Earth), (Perigee- about 50,000 km closer to the earth than Apogee). So basically, the term Super-Moon is used to describe the full moon when it is less than 359000 km from Earth, which is also known as the Perigee Moon. Therefore full moon which occur on the Perigee side of the moon appear much larger and brighter than the full on Apogee side.
So on November 14, 2016 the moon is going to be in the nearest approach to the Earth. It’s going to be a Super-Moon, the first full moon of November is also called the Beaver moon. It will also be the largest Super-Moon since January 26, 1948, and the moon will not be this close to earth again until Nov. 25, 2034. The moon will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at the Apogee. Even though the moon will be closer, the differences are subtle and will look like an ordinary moon. The best time to look is when the moon is near to the Horizon. When the moon is close to the Horizon it can appear thrice as bigger as the normal, which is also called the “Moon Illusion“.