Traveling by moonlight during a Super Moon was a wonderful experience, especially on the lonely Alabama highways. Knowing it was an experience being shared by millions of others that evening made the planet seem much smaller and more connected. Not so wonderful was the quality of the image I could capture with the technology at hand.
Fortunately, there some 3700 better photos of the big orange moon as it brushed against Earth as close at it ever gets (some 221,565 miles away).
The term supermoon was coined in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle:
In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth. At any new or full moon, Earth and Moon and Sun are all in a line: Earth is in the middle in the full moon alignment, while the new moon happens with Moon in the middle. This coming together in an alignment is technically termed a syzygy. Sometimes – from a few times to a half-dozen times in a given year – these alignments also happen when the Moon is in its perigee, or closest approach to Earth. Astronomers call this very special alignment a perigee-syzygy. I call it a SuperMoon – which is a whole lot easier on the tongue.
There was some confusion about how this particular supermoon was reported, as the closest full moon in 20 years. Supermoons occur with great frequency, but there are only a few extreme supermoons per century, which means it is a closer-than-average pass of a supermoon. The last of those came a year ago in January, and the next is expected in November 2016. Of the sixteen extreme supermoons between 1950 and 2050, only two have occurred as late as March (most are in January). So the more accurate statement would be: Saturday’s lunar event was the first extreme supermoon in March in 18 years.Tags: astrology, astronomy, extreme supermoon, iPhone, lunar, photos, shared event