ST. GEORGE — The moon reached its fullest stage early morning Saturday and is designated as the first of three full-moon “supermoons” to occur in 2014 along with Aug. 10 and Sept. 9. The moon is characterized as a “supermoon” because it appears bigger and brighter in the night sky.
The technical term for a “supermoon” is “perigee moon.” According to NASA’s website, the altering sizes of the full moons occur because of the elliptical orbit of the moon around the earth; perigee represents the point in the moon’s orbit where it comes closest to the earth. Apogee is when the moon lies furthest from the Earth.
With Saturday night’s full moon, and Sept. 9, perigee occurs the same day that the moon reaches its fullest phase; however on Aug. 10, “it becomes full the same hour as perigee, arguably making it an extra-super moon,” the website states.
The moon becomes full when it is directly opposite from the sun and may appear as a full moon for several nights especially as it ascends from the eastern horizon and also just before it sinks below the western horizon.
For an unknown reason, low-hanging moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees and buildings which suggests that if you happen to gaze up as the moon begins to rise it may appear to be the biggest moon you’ve seen yet.
Ed. note: “beam” inserted in final sentence.
- Rare ‘Blood Moon’ eclipse shines on Southern Utah; STGnews Photo Gallery
- News Short: ‘Blood Moon’ eclipse tonight
- Shoot the supermoon 2013; STGnews Photo Gallery, submissions invited
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.