Eyes to the skies for ‘Supermoon’

Eyes to the skies for ‘Supermoon’

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The moon as photographed over Ireland last night. Photo c/o/ www.astronomy.ie
The moon as photographed over Ireland last night. Photo c/o/ www.astronomy.ie

2014’s last ‘SuperMoon’, the term used to describe when the Moon is at its closest to Earth, will occur tonight and tomorrow (Tuesday) night and with clear skies across County Clare, astronomy enthusiasts are in for a show.

The Moon’s distance from Earth can vary by about 15%, which can cause a change in brightness of about 30%, but a SuperMoon looks even more impressive than this due to an optical illusion – the ‘Moon Illusion’. Currently, the moon is about 355,000 kilometres from earth.

According to David Moore of Astronomy Ireland: “By definition the Full Moon rises when the Sun sets and there is also an optical illusion called the “Moon Illusion” that makes the Moon ‘look’ bigger when it is low down, just above the horizon. In fact, the Moon’s size does not change at all, it’s purely an optical illusion, but a very powerful one that will make the Supermoon even more spectacular.”

“We want people to enjoy the Supermoons and send us their photos and descriptions for our beginners’ magazine” said David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland. “It’s a great event to involve the whole family” he said.

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