One night of ‘Supermoonlight’: Best views (FANTASTIC PHOTOS)
Published time: May 06, 2012 11:46
Edited time: May 07, 2012 02:47
The full moon rises behind a mosque as birds fly in Amman May 5, 2012. (Reuters / Ali Jarekji)
Saturday night on planet Earth was marked with spectacular phenomenon – an unusually large and bright moon crossing the skies. For those whose vision was not obscured with clouds it became a truly memorable event.
The recently-coined term ‘Supermoon’ describes a situation when the moon is passing Earth at the closest point its elliptic orbit – the perigee. The farthest sector of lunar elliptic orbit is called the apogee.
When in perigee, moon is a “mere” 356,955 kilometers away from us. At this distance, Earth’s only natural satellite is 14 per cent larger and 16 per cent brighter than an average full moon we usually observe.
In apogee the moon is 406,450 kilometers from Earth. This means in perigee the moon gets closer to us by 49,495 km, which is nothing by space scale, but still considerably longer than the length of our planet’s equator.
In 2012, the Supermoon coincided with the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower peak and outshone this also very spectacular celestial event.
Probably because of the atmospheric lensing effect, the moon looks bigger when it is closer to the horizon. Still, it is not as big as on the photos of experienced photographers who use telephoto lenses or telescopes to magnify tremendously the size of the natural satellite, making it looming in a sci-fi manner over chosen landscape. Do not cherish an illusion that one day you will see anything similar for real – the naked eye always sees the moon the same way.
A runner makes his way along a trail on a butte in front of the "super Moon" at Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona May 5, 2012 (Reuters / Darryl Webb)
A full moon is seen behind the minaret of Mohamed Ali mosque, in Islamic Cairo, May 5, 2012 (Reuters / Asmaa Waguih)
The full moon rises behind a mosque as a kite flies in Amman, May 5, 2012 (Reuters / Ali Jarekji)
The moon rises near an apartment block in Bucharest, May 5, 2012 (Reuters / Radu Sigheti)
The full moon rises from the top of the Haramoun mountain, as seen from Marjayoun village in south Lebanon, May 5, 2012 (Reuters / Jamal Saidi)
The moon rises near an apartment block in Bucharest, May 5, 2012 (Reutres / Radu Sigheti)
Tourists look at the moon rising over the ancient temple of Poseidon at cape Sounion, some 60 kms south of Athens, May 5, 2012 (AFP Photo / Aris Messinis)
Almost full moon has risen behind the cross of the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) in Dresden, eastern Germany, May 4, 2012 (AFP Photo / Robert Michael)
LAPD chopper flies in a foregraund of the Super Moon in Los Angeles, California, May 5, 2012 (AFP Photo / Joe Klamar)
The "Supermoon" rises over apartment buildings in Toronto, May 5, 2012 (Reuters / Mark Blinch)
The full "Supermoon", scientifically known as a "perigee moon", rises under palm trees as an airplane lands at Los Angeles International Airport in Inglewood, California, May 5, 2012 (Reuters / Patrick Fallon)
Reuters / Patrick Fallon