A supermoon is expected to appear on Saturday for the first of three times this summer.
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The full moon will reach perigee when the moon is closest to the Earth during its elliptical orbit, said Griffith Observatory Telescope Demonstrator and Amatuer Astronomer, Jim Mahon.
“It’s just a full moon that happens to occur when the moon perigees. The orbit is an ellipse not circle, there’s a high point and low point,” Mahon said. “Sometimes it happens to hit the low point when full.
The reason people really notice the full moon is because it’s rising at sunset. you’ll be out and about.”
Two other supermoons this summer will be on Aug. 10 and Sept. 9. Last year there were three in a row.
“The closest full moon of 2014 occurs next month on Aug. 10, at 2:11 p.m. ET,” according to an NBC News article. “On that date, the moon reaches perigee, or its closest approach to the Earth at 221,765 miles (356,896) kilometers distant at 1:44 p.m. ET, less than an hour from full.”
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While the moon may look larger, it’s actually just an illusion, Mahon said.
“Put your back to the rising moon spread your feet apart bend over and look through your legs,” Mahon said. “We do it at Griffith and, for most people, the allusion goes away when you do that.”
Mahon says not to head over to Griffith for look at the supermoon through a telescope.
“The full moon is the last moon you want to look at through telescope,” Mahon said. “What makes (the moon) interesting, is the shadow lines and there aren’t any shadow lines when the moon is fully illuminated, it won’t show much in the way of detail. Enjoy with the unaided eye and come to Griffith when the moon is partially illuminated.”
Information courtesy of NBC News and the Associated Press.
Source: Santa Clarita News