Antonio Manaytay – Fourth Estate Contributor
Tucson, AZ, United States (4E) – The lunar eclipse on December 3 may not sound spectacular to skywatchers but the Supermoon could be a crowd drawer as the moon will appear larger by 14 percent than the usual full moon on any given night.
Some scientists though are not excited of the prospect of seeing the supermoon: the 14 percent change in moon size is negligible, they said.
Scientifically it is called as perigee syzygy but it is popularly known by laymen as supermoon.
“Perigee refers to the moon being at its closest distance to the Earth, and syzygy refers to the alignment of multiple bodies – the moon, Earth, and sun need to be aligned for us to see a full moon,” Arizona University professor Gurtina Besla told NPR.
This means that moon, while in full moon phase, will be at its closest to Earth blocking it from the sun’s view.
The Arizona University professor said she is not excited to see this year’s supermoon because the apparent change is moon size is too small to appreciate, unlike the 2016 supermoon. Last year’s supermoon was at its closest distance to Earth since 1948. It will skim the planet again in 2034.
She admitted, however, that viewing the supermoon at its peak will be rewarding for those who have the patience to stay awake until 3:45 a.m. ET on December 4.
To get the most of observing the supermoon, NASA staff photographer Bill Ingalls said: “Don’t make the mistake of photographing the moon by itself with no reference to anything.”
“Think of how to make the image creative,” he said. This means photographing the supermoon with a land-based object as a reference which can be “a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place.”
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