Super Moon, meteor shower set to dazzle

Super Moon, meteor shower set to dazzle

Summary: On May 5-6 the full moon will appear larger because it's closer to Earth than any other time of the year.

TOPICS: Nasa / Space

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  • On May 6, the moon will reach its closest approach to the Earth and create a Super Moon which will appear to be 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a regular full moon. The best time to see it will be when the moon is on the horizon when it will  seem to be at its largest size. It's at its closest at 11:34 pm EDT.

    NASA predicts there won't be any impact on Earth. Although it has never been proven - when there's a full moon it is said that hospital admissions tend to rise, the crime rate is normally higher and people tend to act strangely .Of course, we know that it's also when wolves howl at the moon and werewolves appear. And the word lunacy comes from the Latin word for moon.

    Thanks to Photoshop here's the moon as people will probably imagine due to the extensive Internet hype.

    Photo by Kai Schreiber and NASA

  • The normal sized full moon and Super Moon compared.

    Photo by NASA

  • The Super Moon actually occurs almost every year. This is a photo of it last year over Germany on the right. To show how a Super Moon might appear - the moon in  the center is 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than the one on the right. This year's Super Moon will be larger than last year's.

    Photo by Kai Schreiber

Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • Full moon and crime increase...

    Hmmmmm... wonder if the "spike" in crime rate will increase 14 percent over the "normal" lunacy induced crime rate??? AND, can the "alleged criminals" claim temporary insanity? Just wondering...
  • Astronomy isn't your strong suit, Andy.

    "when the moon is on the horizon when it will be at its largest size"???

    The moon doesn't change size, our perception of it changes depending on what we have as a reference point. Sheesh.
    • moon appearance in size

      The moon appears to be largest as it rises over the horizon because we look through appreciatively more atmosphere with water moisture in it, this acts as a simple magnifying glass, the more atmosphere...the more the has the same effect each and every night.
      also Sheeeesh!
      • moon appearance in size

        Thanks Sheldon! Sheesh!
      • Re: moon appearance in size

        No, that is incorrect. The effect is due to an optical illusion. When the moon is near the horizon, we have other objects such as buildings, trees, mountains, etc. as reference. Whereas high in the sky without any reference, moon appears further away thus the brain interprets it to be smaller. This is called the Moon Illusion. A simple test is to extend your arm in front of you and measure how "large" the moon is compare to your finger nail, say. Do this when the moon is "large" and close to the horizon, and then when the moon is "small" when high up in the sky. You will find that the extended angles are the same.
      • Sill theory

        "this acts as a simple magnifying glass, the more atmosphere...the more the magnification "

        Whaa--? You're completely pulling that out of you-know-what. It's already been demonstrated and quantified that the moon appears the exact same size at every point in the sky. You can prove this yourself, by holding a pencil in your hand at arms-length and marking off the height of the moon on the horizon versus the height of the moon higher up in the sky. It's exactly the same. Your magnifying glass theory is silly. The reason the moon appears bigger on the horizon is because of an optical illusion wherein the brain assumes it to be bigger because it's closer to earthbound elements on the horizon (buildings, homes, trees, etc.) Higher up in the sky, the brain has no such reference point and it appears smaller.
        Andre Richards
      • great minds

        @bing: Didn't see your post before I made mine. You know what they say about great minds? ;^)
        Andre Richards
    • Moon's apparent size

      True, the moon will appear to be at its largest size. My thinking was that it will be largest as far as we can see but could have be phrased better. Fixed. Andy
  • So, how far is it?

    When I talk about the moon with my kids I tell them it's about 220,000 miles away. Here you've presented this article about the distance from Earth to its moon, and nowhere have you told us just what is this closest distance, nor the furthest, nor the average.

    ZDNet readers tend toward the technical side. Give us some numbers.

    Also, the moonlight will be 30% brighter not because it's somehow more reflective, but because its apparent area is larger by that much. If the diameter of a circle is increased by 14%, its area increases by 30%.
    • Because... you have that number wrong?

      The average distance is 238,000 and change. The minimum distance is 224000 and change and the max distance is 252,000 and change. So, when you tell your kids that number, you are wrong., bring your calculator, the number system of science is metric, the factor is Miles = Kilometers times .62
      Bill F.
      • Close enough 4 govt work

        but next time they're planing a lunar picnic, they'll know how much gas to pack
    • Distance to moon

      According to NASA, at perigee (nearest) the moon is 225,623 miles (363,104 km) from Earth and at apogee (farthest) it's 252,088 miles (384,400 km) from Earth. Andy
  • An Earthly impact

    There is an impact for those who live near saltwater. The tides are driven by the moon and sun. They are at their most extreme during full moon and new moon, when the sun's and moon's gravities work with each other, and at the summer and winter solstices, at least here in the Seattle area. On Monday, May 7, the tide at Seattle will drop from +11.6 feet at dawn to -3.2 feet around lunchtime, an impressive swing for this time of year!
    • Yet another "science" myth repeated,

      that apparently is still being propagated in our school systems! It's long (several decades) been observed that, logical as it may seem, this is actually not the case. Otherwise, e.g. the Bay of Funday's tides are hard to explain, since often they are at their highest (or lowest) when the moon is NOT "properly" aligned with the sun. Nor are they the only such tides at different locations around the world.
  • the moon and hospital admissions

    If there's an increase in crime and/or hospitalizations during this month's full moon, the reason is almost certainly because it happens to be a weekend, [b]not[/b] due to the moon.
    • Widen the scope!

      What would be interesting is the corelation between the weekend, longer daytimes during summers and shorter during winter, the increased light during the full moon, and crime along with increased activity due to the extra light and hospitalisations during late evening... :P
  • This rough diagram shows why the moon is closer to the Earth than normal.

    The apogee and the perigee are BOTH "normal"; neither is abnormal! The image at closest distance can be quite wonderful, but that does not make it abnormal.
  • Opps. Paint shop boo boo.

    The first photo, the photo shopped Red moon is clipping a pole or chimeney, making it look like it's right over the homes.

    Perhaps it's the moon on December 21st 2012.
  • Big moon

    I can touch the moon with my hands, from the roof of house.