Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Snow Moon

Tonight is the full moon of February, also known as the "Snow Moon." It is also a super moon, the largest we will have until 2026. Please do enjoy the moon pictures on East of the Sun, West of the Moon. According to Time:
Good news for sky watchers and selenophiles, the next full moon is set to be the biggest and brightest of the year, according to NASA. the “super snow moon” as it is being called, will cross the skies Tuesday on Feb. 19. While the upcoming “super snow moon” won’t be the extravagant astronomical spectacle that January’s “super blood wolf moon eclipse” was, it will be larger and brighter, and definitely command attention in the sky. If that isn’t enough, the subsequent full moon in March will also be a “supermoon,” rounding off 2019 with a total of three “supermoons.” In a given year, between two and four full moons can be classified as “supermoons.” Here’s what to know about the upcoming “super snow moon” — and what the best time is to see it. (Read more.)

From Forbes:
There are other intricacies to the Moon's orbit around the Earth, however. It doesn't just make the same ellipse around Earth in a constant fashion. There are other forces at play. For example:
  • The Sun pulls unevenly on the Moon throughout a lunar month: its gravitational attraction is stronger during the new phase and weaker during the full phase.
  • The Earth is more distant from the Sun in July and closer to the Sun in January, causing a slight difference in both gravitational pull and orbital speed.
  • The Moon is sometimes more closely aligned with the Earth-Sun plane and Earth's axial tilt than others, sometimes inclined at only 18 degrees but other times as inclined as 28 degrees.
Additionally, because the Sun always shines evenly but the Moon has uneven speeds in its elliptical orbit, the Moon appears to wobble, or librate, in the sky as viewed from Earth. (Read more.)

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