---" It's like nothing they compare it to--the summer moon." Basho
The first full moon of summer is big news for skywatchers. Not only is it close to the summer solstice on June 21, the moon will appear just-about full on June 22, and the full moon on June 23 will be a "supermoon!"
What is a supermoon? Astrologer Richard Nolle takes credit for coining the term, in 1979. He defined a supermoon as:
"…a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee). In short, Earth, moon and sun are all in a line, with moon in its nearest approach to Earth."
Astronomers call this close full moon a perigee full moon. Perigee describes the moon’s closest point in its elliptical orbit around Earth for a given month. But this June supermoon is really super--the time of full moon falls even closer to the moon’s closest point to the Earth for the entire year! The crest of the moon’s full phase in June 2013, and perigee, fall within an hour of each other.
How often is the moon both full and closest to Earth? According to EarthSky, these closest full moons recur in cycles of approximately 14 lunar months. The moon does look bigger, and tides are higher.
But you don't have to wait that long, even if you miss this one. A full moon is always an awesome sight--it comes about every 29 days, and rises conveniently around sunset.
The full moonrise on Sunday, June 23 will be 8:40 p.m. Why not go out by the Lakefront to see it?
According to the 7-day forecast, observing conditions may not be the best--they are saying for Sunday, clouds and a chance of rain. But you never know, the clouds may part for moon-viewing!
UPDATE--June, 22--a clear night, and the moon is just...beautiful...
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