The Super Moon Strikes Again!

Last night’s full moon, August 10,2014, was the second in a series of three full super moons.

Another super moon will occur on September 9, 2014.  The August 10th one was considered the brightest however as the distance from the Earth was 221,765 miles. As we learned in grade school, the average distance to the moon is 237,700 miles.

What do Full Moons do to our ocean tides?

The effect of a full Moon on our ocean tides is another topic  In this case it’s all about gravity. During a full moon the gravitational pull can increase by 50% bringing with it very high tides!  I wonder what effect this super moon might have on this weeks tides?

The moon orbit is either perigee or apogee,

The super moon is considered a “perigee moon”.  The moon orbits the Earth in an ellipsis and perigee is the side of the path where the moon is the closest to us.

Conversely the apogee is when the Moon is furthest away.

Remember the scene in the movie “Bruce Almighty”, when Bruce, played by Jim Carrey, lassoed the moon and brought it closer as he sought to woo Jennifer Aniston?  He created his own perigee Super Moon.


Apogee and perigee

Apogee and perigee

More information concerning the apogee and perigee of the moon and their effects on tidal movements can be found at the Moon Connection sites referenced below.

Moon Trivia.

The Farmers Almanac is a good source of information concerning the moon.  Farmers have planted and harvested to the phases of the moon for millenniums!

  • Moonrise (and, incidentally, the time of high tide) occurs about 50 minutes later each day than the day before.
  • To determine the time of moonrise for each day of the month, just add 50 minutes for each day after a phase or subtract 50 minutes for each day prior to a new phase.
  • The new Moon is invisible because it is approximately between Earth and the Sun, so the dark half of the Moon is facing us and the sunlit half is facing the Sun. (Sometimes, the new Moon is directly in front of the Sun, in which case we’d see a solar eclipse.)
  • One or two days after the date of the new Moon, we can see it in the western sky as a thin crescent setting just after sunset.
  • In following the chart below, care must be taken when using the terms Moon and midnight. These are affected by adjustments for daylight saving time and to a lesser degree by one’s longitude in a particular time zone. (Sunrise and sunset, of course, are definitive times regardless of people’s tamperings with the clock.)
  • Since the Moon has no light of its own but merely reflects sunlight, we see a full Moon rise in the east when the Sun is setting in the west.
The new Moon always rises near sunrise
And the first quarter near noon.
The full Moon always rises near sunset
And the last quarter near midnight.

Back to the subject of Ocean Tides.

Climate change can affect the ebb and flow of our tidal fluctuations.  The full moon coupled with Hurricane Sandy played havoc on the east coast.  NOAA has recently published an article on 200 years of tidal measurements and how they and the science of measuring them have changed over the past 200 years! Read the whole article at the following link:

Last nights Moon.

So guess what?  It was cloudy and I couldn’t see the moon rise.  That’s the best opportunity to see it in it’s full glory.  I did snap a photo a week before the full and a fuzzy one from yesterday…check them out!

Not quite a Super Moon yet

Not quite a Super Moon yet


A cloudy Super Moon

A cloudy Super Moon

“It is the very error of the moon.
She comes more near the earth
than she was wont. And makes
men mad.”

—William Shakespeare, Othello



About rsingram

Environmental Specialist, Disaster Reservist, Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, Para-Archeologist
This entry was posted in Celestial Event, Clean air, Clear Skies, Environment, Super Moon and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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