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Summer of Supermoons: What You Need to Know

Posted By Amanda Tomlinson on 18/07/2014

 

Did any of you capture the Supermoon last weekend?  The moon’s closest approach to Earth, referred to as ‘perigee’, results in the moon appearing up to 30 per cent brighter and 40 per cent larger, due to the lunar disk being located 50,000km closer to the Earth than the farthest point in its orbit.

 

But don’t panic if you missed the event, you will have another chance to capture a bigger and better Supermoon on August 10, the closest encounter of the moon to Earth for all of 2014. So make sure you put the date in your diary….and fingers crossed for no clouds!

 

With Supermoons occurring only a few times a year (there is another Supermoon occurring on the 9th September) a 'new moon' or a 'full moon' is a more regular occurrence. Here at Transun we receive enquiries about when is best to see the Aurora Borealis with regards to the lunar cycle. And with 3 Supermoons all within 3 months of each other we figured this might be a good a time to clear up the confusion!

 

 ‘New moon’ otherwise known as the ‘dark moon’ is ‘the moment of conjunction in ecliptical longitude with the sun’ – basically in laymen terms, when the moon is invisible from the Earth.

 

Following?

 

So this means that the ‘full moon’ is the lunar phase when the moon is completely illuminated when seen from the Earth - think howling wolves and fairy tales.

 

So what does this mean for those budding photographers wanting to capture the mysticism of the Northern Lights?

 

Well a ‘new moon’ means there is no light pollution making it more ideal for taking those dramatic Aurora Lights shots. However it’s not just whether the moon is shining bright in the night sky or seemingly invisible to the human eye; sometimes it’s simply luck and cloud cover. But one thing is for certain, when the Aurora Borealis is shining in full force, it really is something to behold.

 

Well, that’s the technical aspect all cleared up, now for the fun part!

 

Did you know…

  • Only 59 per cent of the moon’s surfaces is visible from Earth

  • The moon has no global magnetic field

  • Approximately 49 moon’s would fit inside the Earth

  • Monday derives from the Old English ‘Monandoæg’ and Middle English ‘Monenday’ meaning ‘moon day’

  •  Surface features that create the face, known as the ‘Man in the Moon’ are impact basins on the moon that are filled with dark basalt rocks

  • BUT there is quite literally, a man on the moon! Geologist Eugene Shoemaker had his astronaut application rejected due to medical reasons. However this did not stop Shoemaker from working on various U.S space missions, including the Apollo mission to the moon. When Shoemaker passed away, to honour his memory and to grant him is wish of going to the moon, a vial carrying an ounce of his ashes was sent to the moon

  • Despite the lunar missions being named Apollo, in Greek Mythology, Apollo is actually the God of the Sun

  • The Sámi Goddess Mano is the female personification of the moon

  • The Norse God Máni  is the male personification of the moon who crosses the sky in a horse and carriage

  • Ever wondered what the irrational fear of the moon is called? Did you even know people suffered from a persistent fear of the moon!? Well this is called ‘Selenophobia.’ Symptoms include panic attacks, trembling and feeling faint.

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Northern lights
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