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Will The Full Cold Moon Be “Super”?

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Dec 022017

The term “Supermoon” has been overused so much in the past few years. Every time a full Moon is going to be a little closer to the Earth appearing larger, it is called a Supermoon. We often wait with bated breath, only to be disappointed by a nice, round, bright moon, but none has ever taken our breath away like the Full Worm Moon back on March 19, 2011 — Now, THAT was a SUPERMOON! it was huge, filled the sky with wonder and turned night into day. Such an amazing sight.

The Full Cold Moon rises tomorrow, Dec. 3.  According to the Farmer’s Almanac, it’s a “Supermoon”—appearing bigger and brighter than any Moon this year.

The Full Moon crests on the evening of Sunday, December 3 and reaches “perigee“—the point in its orbit at which it is closest to Earth—early morning of Monday, December 4.

When a Full Moon rises at perigee, the Moon appears bigger and brighter. This Sunday’s full Moon is expected to appear 8% wider and 16% brighter than average, which will enhance the Orange Holiday Festival as it shines down on the crowd and highlights Santa’s arrival.

The Almanac states, “While December’s Supermoon is the only one in 2017, it’s the first of three Supermoons in succession. The next two are in January (2018)—which brings two full Moons! Yes, that second Moon in a single month is considered a “Blue Moon.””

Full Moon Name

In Native American cultures which tracked the calendar by the Moons, December’s Full Moon was known as the Full Cold Moon, according to the Almanac. It is fittingly associated with the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark.

This Full Moon also is called the Long Nights Moon by some Native American tribes because it occurs near the winter solstice—the day with the least amount of daylight.


About This Weekend’s Full Moon: Supermoon or Super Disappointment?

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Aug 292015


This image shows the smallest full moon superimposed on Supermoon. by Stefano Sciarpetti.

You may have thought that the moon was full on Friday night, but August’s true full moon, the “Sturgeon Moon,” “Wheat Cut Moon,” “Blueberry Moon,” or “Full Green Corn Moon,” (take your pick) is today at 2:35 p.m., Moonrise is 7:23 p.m. 

What’s special about Saturday’s moon is it is a “perigee” Supermoon, when the moon is nearest to Earth in its orbit.

What you can expect is elevated tides and the appearance of the first of three Supermoons this year.

Tonight’s moon won’t look perfectly round, though, due to some atmospheric anomalies, but the most impressive of the three consecutive Supermoons will appear on September 28, which is when it will be the closet to Earth. That one also will align with a total eclipse of the Moon.

We’ve heard about Supermoons a lot in the past few years, but we have never seen one in this area like the one that graced our skies like the magnificent undeniable Supermoon of March 19, 2011. No full moon will be this close to Earth again until November 14, 2016.

Until then, I will just use the term Perigee, because none of the showings prior to Nov. 14, 2016 will “deserve” to be called a Supermoon. 

Photo of the Magnificent 2012 Supermoon taken in Washington State by Tim McCord

Photo of the Magnificent 2012 Supermoon taken in Washington State by Tim McCord


Take A Moment To Gaze At The Supermoon Tonight

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Jun 232013

Supermoon over Athens

Supermoon over Athens

This morning at 7 a.m. EDT, the moon arrived at perigee — the point in its orbit bringing it closest to Earth, a distance of 221,824 miles. Now the moon typically reaches perigee once each month (and on some occasions twice), with their respective distances to Earth varying by 3 percent.

But Sunday’s lunar perigee will be the moon’s closest to Earth of 2013. This is the biggest full moon of the year, a celestial event popularly defined by some as a “Supermoon.”

What a perfect time it would be to be in Maine.