You’ve probably heard about ‘Supermoons’, but what about ‘Micromoons’?
In the strictest sense, these aren’t astronomy terms — ‘supermoon’ was coined by an astrologer, and some people are still convinced that the extra gravitational ‘tug’ from a supermoon is responsible for natural disasters.
Because the moon’s orbit around Earth is slightly oval-shaped or elliptical, every month there’s a time when the Moon is at its closest distance to Earth (perigee) and another time when it is at its furthest distance from Earth (apogee).
Since a supermoon is when the moon at perigee, it follows that a micromoon is when the moon is at apogee.
So, while terms like ‘supermoon’ or micromoon’ aren’t official astronomical terms, they do grab your attention — and that means more people heading outside to gaze up at the wonderful night sky.
When to look:
Where to look:
The moon always rises in the east.
What craters can you see on the Moon?
The next time you observe the Moon, take it one step further and identify a crater or two! We’ve highlighted some great tools that will help you with maps of all the features on the surface of the Moon.
Before you know it, you’ll be pointing out the Tycho Crater or the Sea of Tranquillity to friends and family!
Try some of these free apps and software:
Does a ‘Micromoon’ appear smaller to the naked eye?
Did you know, the difference in apparent size between between a ‘Micromoon’ and a ‘Supermoon’ is only about 13%? That’s not detectable to the naked eye, and barely noticeable with a telescope, so you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
For some comparisons between ‘Super’ and ‘Micro’ moons, check out our handy infographic below, or read more on the NASA website.
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There’s always something interesting happening in the night sky and country WA is the best place to catch all the action