I can’t get that Credence Clearwater Revival song out of my mind, and for good reason. On Sunday evening 11/13 and Monday 11/14, the full moon will appear bigger and brighter than normal. That’s because the moon will be closest to the earth it has been since January 26th 1948.
The “Super Moon” is the term coined when the full moon occurs near perigee, or when the earth is closest to the moon. You might also know this as “perigean full moon,” and it will occur Monday morning at 6:23 AM. The average distance to the moon is 238,900 miles. On Monday that distance will be shortened to 221,524 miles.
What makes this perigee even more exciting is the moon will be full just three hours later at 8:52 AM. So in short, this “Bad Moon Rising” will be the biggest and brightest in 69 years, and the next time it happens will be 18 years from now in 2034.
So what can you expect to see? The moon always appears biggest on the horizon when it’s rising or setting. The moon rise on Sunday evening is at 4:08 PM in the east (just 9 minutes before sunset in the west). The moon will be brightest and biggest in the eastern sky in the coming hours after moon rise. Also, the moon sets at 6:16 AM on Monday in the western sky which will allow for equally stunning views. Monday evenings moon rise should be another beauty. It occurs in the east sky at 4:52 AM. Based on today’s forecast, it looks like we’re in for a treat. Skies should remain clear and temperatures will be seasonably mild.
How big will the moon appear? According to Sky and Telescope Senior Editor Aland MacRobert, the moon will appear about 7% larger in diameter. That’s not a major difference unless you’re an avid moonwatcher. I’ll be making a point to take a look though more for the novelty it. In fact, I plan to get the telescope out Sunday night (before the Patriots game of course) with my now young children. The next time this happens again, will be 18 years down the road.
Another affect to keep an eye on next week will be higher than normal tides. The highest astronomical tides due to the full moon cycle will occur on Tuesday at 10:56AM 12.0′ and Wednesday morning at 10:05 AM 11.9′. Flood stage in Portland is 12″. Based on the forecast, a rain storm should affect the region Tuesday into Wednesday as well. That in combination with the astronomical tides should produce some coastal flooding. We’ll keep you posted. The tides we’re watching are
Moon data from Sky and Telescope.