On Monday, Discovery News asked for our readers’ photographs of the weekend’s “supermoon.” Unfortunately, we totally overlooked a photographer who was orbiting 250 miles over our heads who had a front row seat for the bright lunar event. European astronaut André Kuipers watched the perigee moon set over the Earth’s atmosphere on May 5 from the International Space Station, but it looked remarkably different from how the supermoon looked for most of us on the ground.
As seen from Kuipers’ vantage point, the reflected light from the bottom of the lunar disk had to travel through more atmospheric gases than light from the top of the disk. The light from the bottom of the lunar disk was therefore strongly refracted, causing the light to bend upward, giving the moon a squashed appearance (above). An earlier photograph by Kuipers (below) shows the supermoon in all its glory, completely free from any atmospheric distortions — but the “squashed supermoon” is beautiful in its own right.
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On May 6th 2012 there was only a 1 minute difference between fullmoon and perigee making the moon 14% bigger and 30% brighter than average. The third picture was only a few days before May’s 2012 supermoon. Among a layer of thick clouds.
Photographed by Luis Argerich
Top: The full moon rises over the skyline of Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center in New York, as seen from West Orange, New Jersey, on May 6.
Bottom: Buddhists walk around the Borobudur temple while carrying candles during Vesak Day, commonly known as “Buddha’s birthday”, at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Indonesia, on May 6, 2012. Vesak is observed during the full moon in May or June and the ceremony centers around three Buddhist temples, whereby pilgrims walk from Mendut to Pawon, ending at Borobudur.
See the rest. [Images; Reuters, Getty]
Supermoon Over Paris
Image Credit & Copyright: VegaStar Carpentier
Explanation: Rising as the Sun sets, tonight’s Full Moon could be hard to miss. Remarkably, its exact full phase (May 6 03:36 UT) will occur less than two minutes after it reaches perigee, the closest point to Earth in the Moon’s orbit, making it the largest Full Moon of 2012. The Full Perigee Moon will appear to be some 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a Full Moon near apogee, the most distant point in the elliptical lunar orbit. In comparison, though, it will appear less than 1 percent larger and almost as bright as April’s Full Moon, captured in this telephoto image rising over suburban Fort Collins, Colorado, USA. For that lunation, Full Moon and perigee were about 21 hours apart. Of course, if you manage to miss May’s Full Perigee Moon, make a note on your calendar. Your next chance to see a Full Moon close to perigee, will be next year on June 23.
Super Moon or Perigee Moon in Guam!
Taken with my Canon Rebel T3i
Lens : 55-250mm f/4-5.6 Telephoto lens
(Submitted by iameloy)
hope you saw the super moon!
Astronomers call it perigee-syzygy; the rest of us call it “supermoon.” Either way, the alignment of the sun and moon will coincide with the moon’s closest approach to Earth on Saturday (May 5), resulting in the biggest full moon of the year. But don’t worry, it won’t break Earth.
Saturday’s supermoon will be especially super. Richard Nolle, the astrologer who coined the term “supermoon,” defined it as a full moon that occurs within 12 hours of lunar perigee, or the point in the moon’s slightly non-circular monthly orbit when it swings closest to our planet. On Saturday, the timing of the two events will be almost perfect: the moon will reach its perigee distance of 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) — the closest lunar perigee of 2012, in fact — at 11:34 p.m. Eastern Time, and it will fall in line with the sun (thereby becoming full) just one minute later.