From “Mini” Moons to “Super” Moons, a year of full Moons

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Full Moon January 26, 04:30 ACDST. Full Moon February 24, 23:30 ACDST (apogee 26th +1d 2h) Full Moon March 25, 20:43 ACDST FM 17:30 ACDST (apogee 24th -1d 15h) penumbral Lunar eclipse
Full Moon April 24, 19:06 ACST FM9:30 ACST Full Moon May, 23 23:30 ACST Full Moon June 22 18:42 ACST FM 10:30 ACST (maximum libration 8:30 ACST)
Full Moon July 21 19:30 ACST. Full Moon August 20 19:20 ACST (FM 03:30 ACST. Perigee, 21st 14:30 pm) Full Moon September 18 19:33 ACST (FM 13:00 ACST, Perigee, 18th 22:30 pm -10h)
Full Moon October 17 21:01 ACDST (FM 11:30 ACDST, Perigee, 18th 23:30 ACDST +10h) Full Moon November 16 21:39 ACDST  (FM 7:30 ACDST, Perigee, 14th 21:30 ACDST -1d10h) Full Moon December 15 22:12 ACST

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First Quarter Moon June 14 15:00 ACST apogee 23:30 ACST First Quarter Moon December 9 1:30 ACDST perigee 12th 23:30 ACDST

 A year of full Moons showing the variation in size as the moons move from perigee to apogee. I also show the apogee and Perigee First Quarter Moons. All the moons are shown on the day and time they are full (unless they are below the horizon, in which case the size at astronomical twilight is shown and the time of actual full moon is shown as well), and although this is not the optimal time for size comparisons, you can clearly see the size difference over the year (compare Feb 24 to Sep 18) the original scale for all is 2 degrees of field of view cropped down). Although the field rotation of the Moon makes it less clear, you can also see the effect of libration (June 22)

In 2024 we have two good Perigee Moons in a row (September 18, October 17). However, as you can see the differences are subtle, and it requires a keen eye and good memory to distinguish a perigee “super” Moon from more ordinary moons, the best contrast is with the apogee “mini” moon of February 24, even though this is not a good apogee Moon).

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try though. Daniel Fischer has been able to see the difference, you can read
his account and viewing tips here:
http://earthsky.org/space/can-you-discern-supermoons-large-size-with-the-eye-an-observer-says-yes

Photographing them can be more rewarding. You can see images of perigee Moon and apogee Moon pairs from 21 Jan 2019 here and 10 August 2014 here.Tips for photographing them are here.

There is also a penumbral Lunar Eclipse on 25 March but twilight makes this difficult to see.

Labels: apogee, Moon, perigee, public outreach, Yearly Moons

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