Wandering through the realms of the cosmos, pondering its huge vastness

How Big is a Supermoon?

The image above is a comparison of the apparent size of last month’s Paschal Full Moon and tonight’s perigee moon or Super Full Moon. Both were taken using the same method and same equipment.

Perigee is the point in moon’s elliptical path around the earth at which it is closest to the center of the earth.

Although decent focus was very hard to achieve due to passing clouds (hence my supermoon image appeared blurred), it is still noticeable that there was not much significant difference between the size of the two full moons eventhough the supermoon is the biggest and brightest of all the full moons this year.

In fact, looking at the moon in the sky without anything to compare it to, you wouldn’t notice  find any specific difference in its shape, size, color or brightness. But the difference in size can be quite significant if you were to photograph a full moon at apogee (farthest) and perigee (closest) using the same lens. It’s 33 vs. 29 arc min for average perigee vs. apogee, meaning the apogee moon is about 15% larger in diameter or 35%  larger in area.

The apogee moon this year will occur on November 28 at 406349 km.

By the way, for those who were asking, nothing special will ever happen at the particular moment when the ordinary “full moon” will become a “Super moon” at a given “point of time”. Only the media people were exaggerating the news about this event.

For astronomers, it’s just a common phenomenon taking place at regular period.

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