The Night Sky: Super-Moon

‘Super-Moon’ Saturday night is coming May 5th

The attached picture of the full Moon was taken by Ted Schimenti and me at the Round Hill Observatory in 2006. 

Ask any police officer and he will probably tell you that crime rates go up on a full moon. Many studies disagree with this assessment. The researchers find no connection between a Full moon and human behavior. 

The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is not perfectly circular. The Earth-Moon distance varies by about 8 percent. Sometimes the Moon is closer at full moon and sometimes farther. When the Moon is at its farthest it is said to be at apogee. When it is at its closest it is at perigee. This Saturday night, May 5th, will be the closest, and thus the largest full Moon of 2012.

Not to worry. This happened many times and it will happen again. The perigee full Moon will not cause any danger as you may have read on the internet. In fact most people will not be able to tell the difference from other full Moons. Can you? If it is clear Saturday night go out and check out the biggest full Moon of 2012. 

Remember that any full Moon will always be opposite the Sun in the sky. So look for the full Moon in the East after twilight, in the South at midnight, and in the west near dawn.

Starry Nights!

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Steve Dawson May 05, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Rick - is it true that the Moon is moving away from the Earth? If so, what is causing that? (If it's true, then a full Moon at apogee a few million years ago would have looked much bigger?)
Rick Bria May 06, 2012 at 08:03 PM
LOL... it was partly cloudy but I did get to see it in early envening... Rick
Rick Bria May 06, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Yes and Yes... the Moon was closer in the past (billions of years ago) and looked bigger then... AND the Moon is still moving away from the Earth. Due to friction from both land and sea tides, Earth's rotational energy is beging transfered to the Moon. This is slowing down the Earth's rotation (our days are getting VERY slightly longer) and that same tidal engery 'pushes' to moon farhter away. Who knows... In a few billion years there may be enough time in the day to get everything done!
Glen K Dunbar May 07, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Rick ole buddy,. Do you belive in Dooms Day? Is there really going to be a massive tidal wave or something on 12-21-12?? Also, yea...buddy.. I remember Big Bertha. I would love to be able to have time to get back in w/model rockets. Wish the system would realize I am mentally ONLY able to do desk work for 35 hrs a week and that I am NOT able to care for myself, muchless my Mom and such. You seem so content buddy. God Bless You Sir. Wish I could be happy. Nobody Love me GLEN
Barbara Heins May 08, 2012 at 10:49 PM
This comment has been deleted. Patch appreciates readers' interest and comments and knows that you understand we are providing a forum for comments and discussion directed to the issues that rise above sentiments on a personal level.


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