Sunday, March 20, 2011

THE RISE OF THE SUPERMOON

the rise of the Supermoon at Quezon City,
Philippines- March 19, 2011
Why then was this called the "supermoon"?  It is dubbed as such for the reason that it is the biggest and brightest full moon for the year 2011 and not only that, this is the time when the moon gets closer to our planet than it has been in more than 18 years.

True enough, the moon yesterday lit up the sky in an unusual way.  At first it appears so ordinary, but as time passes and gradually shifts to another day, it becomes clearer and enchanting.  For some, it appears a romantic backdrop for a lovers date.












At about 6PM yesterday, March 19, 2011, a friend made a tweet saying that she wanted to see the moon tonight.  At first, I didn't mind the tweet as it appears so ordinary.  After a few minutes, several tweets were posted from various personalities about this so called "supermoon".  And so I asked my friend: "Am I suppose to witness a moon that's extraordinary tonight?"  Then she replied:  "By its name, it's expected to be something extraordinary."  (Of course conversation was in Tagalog, I just translated it)  Due to my curiosity I began my research regarding this supermoon, and indeed, it should appear brightest and the biggest on this Saturday night of March 19, 2011.  Thanks to you Atty. Weng Mutia!

 Here as follows for your reference are the readings I've made from the yahoo news to feed all our curiosity:

Spotting the supermoon

The moon has not been in a position to appear this large since March 1993.
In December 2008, there was a near-supermoon when the moon turned full four hours away from its perigee – the point in its orbit that is closest to Earth. But this month, the full moon and perigee are just under one hour apart, promising spectacular views, depending on local conditions. [Infographic: 'Supermoon' Full Moons Explained]

Although a full moon theoretically lasts just a moment, that moment is imperceptible to ordinary observation.

During the day or so before and after, most will speak of seeing the nearly full moon as "full," with the actual shaded area of the lunar surface being so narrow – and changing in apparent width so slowly – that it is hard for the naked eye to tell whether it's present, or which side it is. 

Supermoon making waves
In addition, the near coincidence of Saturday’s full moon with perigee will result in a dramatically large range of high and low ocean tides. 

The highest tides will not, however, coincide with the perigee moon but will actually lag by up to a few days depending on the specific coastal location. For example, in Wilmington, N.C., the highest tide (5.3 feet) will be attained at 11:21 p.m. EDT on March 20. 

In New York City, high water (5.9 feet) at The Battery comes at 10:49 p.m. EDT on March 21, while at Boston Harbor, a peak tide height of 12.2 feet comes at 1:31 a.m. EDT on March 22, almost 2 1/2 after perigee.

According to the Observer’s Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, residents of regions along the shores of the Bay of Fundy in eastern Canada, the 10- to 20-foot (3- to 6-meter) swell in the vertical tidal range makes it obvious when the moon lies near perigee, regardless of clear skies or cloudy.

Any coastal storm at sea around this time will almost certainly aggravate coastal flooding problems. 
Such an extreme tide is known as a perigean spring tide, the word spring being derived from the German springen – to "spring up," and is not, as is often mistaken, a reference to the spring season. 
In contrast, later this year, on October 11, the full moon will closely coincide with apogee, its farthest point from the Earth.  In fact, on that night the moon will appear 12.3 percent smaller than it will appear this weekend.
 
Big full moon's appearance is deceiving
And while this weekend’s moon will be – as the Observer’s Handbook suggests – the "largest full moon of 2011," the variation of the moon's distance is not readily apparent to observers viewing the moon directly. [10 Things You Didn't Know About the Moon]
 
Or is it?
 
When the perigee moon lies close to the horizon, it can appear absolutely enormous. That is when the famous “moon illusion” combines with reality to produce a truly stunning view.
For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, a low-hanging moon looks incredibly large when hovering near trees, buildings and other foreground objects. The fact that the moon will be much closer than usual this weekend will only serve to amplify this strange effect.
So … a perigee moon, either rising in the east at sunset or dropping down in the west at sunrise might seem to make the moon appear so close that it almost appears that you could touch it. You can check out this out for yourself by first noting the times for moonrise and moonset for your area by going to this website.


Thanks to yahoo news for the said information.

As for me, it is a blessing to be able to witness the rise of this so-called "supermoon".  Below are the photos I've taken from my sony point and shoot camera at around 11PM of March 19, 2011 until 230AM of March 20, 2011.  Just bear with my photos as they are not that clear, but I assure you, the experience of watching over the moon on a very clear sky is priceless.  At around 3AM here in Quezon City, clouds started to cover the supermoon.  








 Until the next 20 years...

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