Thursday, March 17, 2011

Super-Moon: Closest Orbit In 18 Years

It has been, my Dear Readers, a touch too long since I’ve given you some good, ol’ fashioned astronomy news. And it’s practical stuff, too…

The moon will not be dangerous, but they way it is peaking over those hills, it may be a little creepy
the night of the 18th…

On March 18th, the moon will make its closest approach to earth in eighteen years, coming to the close orbiting distance of 356,777 kilometers from earth’s surface. It may not appear all that much brighter or larger to the naked eye (and most of our eyes are just that) but through a telescope the moon will appear to be seven percent larger than on a normal evening. Scientists and nerdy amateur astronomers refer to this event as the rare “supermoon” phenomenon which only occurs a handful of times a century.

The close proximity of the moon will have some massive and potentially dangerous impacts on the tides. Experts warn that tidal changes will be much faster and severe, and expect that tidal flooding could be a problem in some areas. Fisherman and port workers in the early morning are especially at risk.

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