What you need to know about tonight’s supermoon

Be sure to look heavenwards tonight because the supermoon – the first of two full months in August – will be extra bright.

Should skies in your area remain clear for the rest of the day into the evening, you will be able to view the first of two supermoon’s this month.

The Full Sturgeon Moon will rise today and will be followed by the Full Blue Moon on August 30.

According to NASA, a supermoon occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest (perigee) to earth at the same time the moon is full.

“When a full moon appears at perigee it is slightly brighter and larger than a regular full moon and that’s where we get a ‘supermoon’,” their website reads.

Facts to know before observing the full moon tonight:

  • The best time to enjoy a super full moon, or any other full moon, is just after moonrise, when the moon is close to the horizon. Just before moonset is also a good time.
  • When the full moon is low, it looks bigger and brighter than when it’s higher up in the sky. This is called the moon illusion, and actually makes more of a difference to what it looks like than the real boost you get from it being a bit closer to earth.
  • The moon reflects the sun’s light and when sunlight is reflecting off the far side of the moon it is referred to as a new moon. When sunlight reflects off the near side of the moon it is known as a full moon. In a year, there are usually three to four supermoons.
  • The term ‘supermoon’ was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle to refer to the point when the full moon is at the closest point of its orbit around the earth.
  • During new moons and full moons, the sun, earth and moon align, making the gravitational pull on the earth’s oceans strongest. This phenomenon is often referred to as the spring tide.
  • The supermoon of August 30-31 will be the closest full supermoon for 2023 and it’s also a monthly Blue Moon. The next monthly Blue Moon is not until May 31, 2026.

Read original story on reviewonline.co.za

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