Posted on March 18, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Scientists say the celestial event is not linked with natural disasters
The March 19 moonrise will coincide with the lunar perigee.
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. (more…)
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 | 1 Comment »
Posted on January 6, 2011 by Bob Berwyn
Earth and sun closest together in early January
Do you know why it's cold in January when earth is 3 million miles closer to the sun than in July? Read below to learn the answer.
This National Weather Service graphic nicely illustrates Earth's egg-shaped path around the sun.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — It wasn’t quite as sexy as the lunar eclipse, or as spectacular as the recent meteor shower, but Earth nonetheless experienced a milestone of sorts with the Jan. 3 perihelion.
To be precise, our planet closed in to within 91.4 million miles of the sun at 11 a.m. Mountain Time, more than 3 million miles closer than at the early July aphelion, when the the Earth and sun are more than 94 million miles distant.
This year, aphelion will coincide with our Independence Day celebrations on July 4, when the Earth will be 94.5 million miles away from the sun. All this because the Earth’s orbit is not circular — it’s elliptical.
It may seem counter-intuitive that the Earth is closer to the sun during the coldest time of the year, but the temperatures at the surface of the planet are influenced by the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth’s axis and the angle of the sun’s rays. Because of that tilt, the northern hemisphere days are much shorter in our winter, leading to the colder temperatures. (more…)
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, seasons | Tagged: aphelion, Apsis, astronomy, Axial tilt, Earth, NASA, Northern Hemisphere, perihelion, Solar System, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, Sun | Leave a Comment »