Charleston! Look Up! Supermoon Soars in the Sky

Charleston! Look Up! Supermoon Soars in the Sky
October 15 22:12 2016 Print This Article

This weekend, October 15th and 16th, signifies the first of three supermoons that will occur this year in 2016.

What is a supermoon you may ask? Well, it is when a full moon coincides with the closest point in its orbit with Earth. The moon’s orbit with Earth isn’t a perfect circle either. In fact, it follows more of an elliptical path. Thus, there are points in its orbit that are closer and further away from Earth, denoted as perigee and apogee, respectively. In astrological terms, the phenomenon of this supermoon is referred to as a lunar perigee. To spectators here on Earth, this makes the moon appear about 15% larger than average.

October’s supermoon is also special in that it is a hunter’s moon. According to National Geographic, “That’s because in other months, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day, while the October moon rises just 30 minutes later.” This results in more daylight, which is of use to hunters.

The best time to see the moon is tomorrow, October 16th, when the moon climaxes in its full moon phase. Optimal viewing time is just as the sun sets and the moon takes on a wonderful orange glow as it reaches the Earth’s horizon. Tomorrow, clear skies are in the forecast so be sure to take advantage of this spectacle.

If you miss the moon this weekend, no worries. The next supermoon occurrence is set for November 14, 2016. This will be the closest full moon to Earth’s surface this century and won’t occur again until 2034!