Saturday, May 05, 2012

Supermoon (Again)

No capes...no ability to leap over tall buildings in a single bound...and no x-ray vision.  Despite these limitations, the full moon that will grace the world's sky tonight will be the brightest, fullest, and visibly largest moon we will see in 2012.

The supermoon occurs when the moon's orbit reaches its closest approach to the Earth.  Since it's closer, it appears brighter and larger in the sky...making for some nice photography if skies are clear or mostly clear.  In terms of its impact on coastal tides, higher tides than usual typically result and if there's a modest enough onshore flow one can get coastal flooding on the East Coast.   With the modest east flow in the atmosphere and the moon's closest approach taking place, coastal flood advisories are out for tonight along the Jersey and Delaware coastlines since minor coastal flooding is possible at high tide.

This supermoon is not as super as last year's as the 2011 supermoon tracked 250 miles closer to the Earth.  Of course, the supermoon leads to various theories and attempts to connect disasters and calamities that occur near/around the time of the moon's closest approach to the moon.  That said, before the moon leads to utter Mayan disaster for us all later this year (tongue in cheek moment), if clouds clear off enough this evening you can get out and enjoy the site of a bright full moon anytime after moonrise, which is set to occur at 7:50 PM tonight.