Tonight, the full moon will appear bigger and brighter than it has in almost 69 years.
If you can’t go out and see the moon, or it’s overcast where you are, SLOOH will be live streaming this amazing sight beginning at 8 pm EDT, or 7 pm in Chicago. You can watch it online here.
Why is this moon so special? This will be the closest full moon since January, 26, 1948. It won’t happen again until November 25, 2034. While all full moons are bright, the perigee full moons are even brighter. This one could be spectacular!
Why is this a supermoon? In its orbit around the Earth, the moon has an elliptical path. Its most distant point is called apogee, and the closest approach is called perigee. Perigee full moons, also called supremoons, occur in predictable cycles, like lunar and solar eclipses At its closest approach, the moon appears up to 14% larger and 30% brighter, and the high and low tides are stronger. You can read more about the science at EarthSky here.
Does human history also have its patterns and cycles? You may find this article interesting. What was happening on earth at the dawn of 1948, while the moon looked on? WWII was over. George Orwell was working on 1984.
I am sure people in 1948 had hopes for a better world. Did they too look up at the moon? Did they envision footprints there in 1969?
No doubt here were rocket scientists from WWII already working on this vision. There were computers the size of warehouses then.
Today, there is more computing power in your smartphone than in the rockets that went to the moon.
Tonight I will go out and look at the moon and think about these things. What will the world be like in 2034?