Super Moon Season

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According to the definition of supermoon, About three or four times a year, the new or full moon coincides closely in time with the perigee of the moon (the point when the moon is closest to the Earth), The next occurrence will be on the Full moon of July 12 2014, but the full moon of the 10 August 2014, which will be the closest encounter in 2014

By definition, the year 2014 has a total of five supermoons. The first supermoon, for 2014, came on New Year’s Day, with the January 1 new moon. The second came with the new moon of January 30, 2014. The full moons of July, August and September will also be supermoons.

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Super Moon Calendar

The July 12, 2014 supermoon isn’t the closest supermoon of the year. For that, you’ll have to wait until August.

Full moon of July 12 at 11:25 UTC

Full moon of August 10 at 18:09 UTC

Full moon of September 9 at 1:38 UTC

The full moon on August 10, 2014, will present the closest supermoon of the year (356,896 kilometers or 221,765 miles).

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What is a supermoon?

A supermoon is the coincidence of a full moon or a new moon with the closest approach the Moon makes to the Earth on its elliptical orbit, resulting in the largest apparent size of the lunar disk as seen from Earth. The technical name is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system. The term “supermoon” is not astronomical, but originated in modern astrology.

The Moon’s distance varies each month between approximately 357,000 kilometers (222,000 mi) and 406,000 km (252,000 mi) due to its elliptical orbit around the Earth (distances given are center-to-center)

The term supermoon is not used within the astronomical community, which use the term perigee-syzygy or perigee full/new moon.Perigee is the point at which the Moon is closest in its orbit to the Earth, and syzygy is a full or new moon, when the Earth, the Moon and the Sun are aligned. Hence, a supermoon can be regarded as a combination of the two, although they do not perfectly coincide each time.

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Save the Date

The full moon on August 10, 2014, will present the closest supermoon of the year (356,896 kilometers or 221,765 miles).

However, the new moons on January 1 and January 30 were not far behind, featuring the year’s second-closest and third-closest supermoons, respectively. On January 1, the moon turned new less than 10 hours before reaching lunar perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. On January 30, the moon turned new nearly 12 hours after reaching lunar perigee.

 In 2014, the moon comes closest to Earth on August 10 (356,896 kilometers), and swings farthest away some two weeks before, on July 28 (406,567 kilometers). That’s a difference of 49,671 kilometers (406,567 – 356,896 = 49,671). Ninety percent of this 49,671-figure equals 44,703.9 kilometers (0.9 x 49,671 = 44,703.9). Presumably, any new or full moon coming closer than 361,863.1 kilometers (406,567 – 44,703.9 = 361,863.1) would be “at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth.”

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Frequency

The full moon cycle is the period between alignments of the lunar perigee with the sun and the earth, which is about 13.9443 synodic months (about 411.8 days). Thus approximately every 14th full moon will be a supermoon. However, halfway through the cycle the full moon will be close to apogee, and the new moons immediately before and after can be supermoons. Thus there may be as many as three supermoons per full moon cycle.

Since 13.9443 differs from 14 by very close to 1⁄18, the supermoons themselves will vary with a period of about 18 full moon cycles (about 251 synodic months or 20.3 years). Thus for about a decade the largest supermoons will be full, and for the next decade the largest supermoons will be new.

Posted in E&V Worldwide.


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