Don't Miss Tonight's Super Perigee Full Moon!
Some of you have already seen the superbness of tonight's "super moon", but for those of you in the western half of the United States, there's still time to ready your cameras and enjoy March 19th's super full moon. It's the biggest full moon in almost 20 years, the last one appearing in March of 1993.
NASA states that tonight's full moon could be 14% bigger and 30% brighter than usual. Geoff Chester from the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. said that it "occurs less than one hour away from perigee—a near-perfect coincidence that happens only 18 years or so."
So, what does perigee mean?
Well, on Earth, full Moons always vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. And the side of the ellipse closest to Earth is the perigee, which is about 31,000 miles closer than it's opposite, apogee. But even though that sounds pretty close, just remember—the Moon will still always be 221,000 miles away from Earth.
And for you worrywarts thinking about the possibility of natural disasters occurring (i.e. floods), don't be. A perigee full moon may bring with it extra-high "perigean tides," but this is nothing to worry about, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
"In most cases the difference is only a couple of inches. The largest difference occurs in certain areas of the Alaska coast where the range of the tide was increased by approximately 6 inches. But considering that these areas have an average tidal range of more than 30 feet, the increase is but a small percentage of the whole (less than a 2% increase)."
So, there's no worries for coastal flooding tonight. But what about worries of missing the spectacular show?
Tonight's super full moon is best viewable at around sunset, which creates an illusion of a low-hanging moon that seems larger when behind trees and buildings. To see exactly when the sun sets in your area, visit the U.S. Naval Oceanography portal, which allows you to search sunsets and moonrises for the whole year in your city.
Check out the NASA video below for a detailed explanation on tonight's perigee moon.
Also, Flickr users from across the world are posting their views of the supermoon tonight. Below are just a few of them. Did you take any pics? Share them!
SOURCE NASA VIA CNET