Scientists say the celestial event is not linked with natural disasters
SUMMIT COUNTY — Saturday’s moonrise could be quite a treat for skywatchers, as the full moon coincides with the perigee — the closest point in the moon’s elliptical orbit around the Earth. According to NASA, the so-called super full moon appears up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than at other times because it’s about 30,000 miles closer to Earth than at its apogee. Check out some Summit Voice moon photos here …
The last time a full moon was so close to Earth was in 1993, said Geoff Chesler, of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Maryland. The March 19 full moon occurs less than an hour from the exact moment of perigee — a rare coincidence that only happens about every 18 years, Chesler added.
The NASA researchers also explained that perigee full moons are not linked with any natural disasters, despite rumors to the contrary. The super full moon does lead to higher-than-normal tides, but those only add up to six inches at most. There’s more information on perigean tides at this NOAA page.
Astronomers say the best time to observe the super full moon is right around moonrise (6:42 p.m. in Frisco) when the moon is close to the horizon. Once it’s high in the sky, it’s harder to tell any difference in size because there’s no point of reference.
Filed under: Colorado, Summit County Colorado Tagged: | Apsis, Earth, Full moon, Moon, moonrise, NASA, perigean tides, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, super full moon, United States Naval Observatory