Thursday, Jun. 27, 2013
PHOTOS OF THE SUPERMOON: The mainstream media called this past weekend's full Moon a "supermoon." On the beach in Halkidiki, Greece, however, it didn't seem so big. Photographer Theodoridis Constantinos found that it fit in the palm of an onlooker's hand:
Appearances notwithstanding, the supermoon was as much as 14% bigger than other full Moons of 2013. It only looks small in this picture because foreground objects affect our perception of size and distance. The human brain can be tricky in that way.
The scientific term for the supermoon phenomenon is "perigee moon." Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee"). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright. On June 23rd, the Moon became full at 11:34 UT, only 23 minutes after perigee--a near-perfect coincidence that gave us an extra-bright, extra-big lunar orb.
More pictures of the super-perigee Moon may be found in the realtime photo gallery.Browse and enjoy.
Α.Σ.Π.Ρ.Ο.Σ. Observatory by Constantinos Theodoridis