Thursday, June 27, 2013

What About the Super Moon?

Dear Madame L,

You know that super moon the other night? How could that happen?

Love,

Mason


Dear Mason,

Madame L is glad you were able to see that!

As you already know, the moon's orbit around the earth isn't exactly like a circle, more like a big oval or ellipse. So sometimes it's closer to us than other times, and when it's really close and also a full moon, that's when we see the super moon. 

Here's a NASA scientist being interviewed about it. She explains why even at its closest the distance from the moon to us is different at different times of the year.  Madame L learned a lot by watching this video, and she thinks you'll enjoy it, too.



That's because two key points in the lunar cycle will coincide early Sunday morning -- the moon will both be a full moon and at its closest point to Earth in the 29.5-day cycle. In recent years, moon watchers have begun using the term "super moon" to describe that occurrence. More coverage Look beyond the sun for skin cancer culprits The perigee -- the name for the point in a lunar cycle when the moon is nearest to Earth -- will occur at 7:11 a.m. Sunday, when the body will be 356,911 kilometers, or 221,774 miles, from Earth.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Super_moon_in_the_sky_this_weekend.html#2E2k11PJZRlHWDjg.99
This time, the moon was just over 220,000 miles from the Earth (about 357,000 kilometers) at its perigee last Sunday morning, June 23. The next time the moon will be that close will be in August 2014.

You might also enjoy NASA's "Science Casts," with short videos about some of the discoveries made by NASA scientists.

Keep on with the questions!

Love,

Madame L

2 comments:

Jeff Wynn said...

Shoulda brung out me telescope.

No, wait!

IT WAS OVERCAST THAT EVENING.

No, wait!

IT'S ALWAYS OVERCAST here!
~~~~~

Linda said...

This is a great video on the Super Moon! And thanks for the link to the video casts. Linda