Giant Full Moon on March 19th
Publiée le 2011-03-17
On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east at sunset. It's a super "perigee moon"--the biggest in almost 20 years.
Full Moons vary in size because of the ellipsoidal shape of the Moon's orbit. It perigee is about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other its apogee.
Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon's orbit. Even a super perigee Moon is still 356,577 km away.
The best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon. That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects.