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Thursday, March 14, 2019

 

From "Super" Moon to "Mini" Moon and back, a year of full Moons for 2019

Full Moon January 21,
Max libration, Perigee +  14h
Full Moon February 19, Perigee -   6hFull Moon March 21, Perigee -1d 5h
Full Moon April 19,
Maximum Libration +10h
Full Moon May 19, Maximum Libration -24hFull Moon June 17,
Full Moon July 17,
Minimum Libration +9h
Full Moon August 15, Full Moon September 13, Apogee -  15h
Full Moon October 14,
Maximum Libration +14h
Full Moon November 12,Full Moon December 12,

 A year of full Moons showing the variation in size as the moons move from perigee to apogee. All the moons are shown at midnight on the day they are full, and although this is not the optimal time for size comparisons, you can clearly see the size difference over the year (the original scale for all is 2 degrees of field of view cropped down to about two lunar diameters width). Although the field rotation of the Moon makes it less clear, you can also see the effect of libration.

In 2019 we have three Perigee Moon is a row (although the March one really only barely scrapes in as a perigee Moon). However, as you can see the differences are subtle, and it requires a keen eye and good memory to distinguish a perigee "super" Moon from more ordinary moons, the best contrast is with the apogee "mini" moon of September 13.

That doesn't mean you shouldn't try though. Daniel Fischer has been able to see the difference, you can read his account and viewing tips here
http://earthsky.org/space/can-you-discern-supermoons-large-size-with-the-eye-an-observer-says-yes

Photographing them can be more rewarding. You can see images of perigee Moon and apogee Moon pairs from 21 Jan 2019 here and 10 August 2014 here.Tips for photographing them are here.

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