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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

 

2020: From "Super" Moon to "Mini" Moon and back, a year of full Moons

Full Moon January 11, 0:500 AEDST
Penumbral eclipse
Full Moon February 09 18:33,
perigee + 36h (Feb 11). Minimum libration -2h
Full Moon March 10 04:48 AEDST, Perigee +12h March 10. Minimum libration.
Full Moon April 08 12:35, perigee April 08 + 8h

Full Moon May 07 20:45, perigee April 06 -19h
Minimum libration.
Full Moon June 06 05:00,
Penumbral eclipse  05:25
Full Moon July 05 15:00.

Full Moon August 04 02:00. Full Moon September 02 15:00. Maximum Libration +11 h
Full Moon October 2 07:00, Full Moon October 31 (WA only, Blue Moon for WA 23:00 AWST) (apogee 05:47 AEDST)Full Moon November 1 02:00, apogee -20h. Minimum libration +27h
Full Moon November 30 21:00
Blue Moon, all states except WA
Penumbral eclipse Eastern states 19:43
Minimum libration
Full Moon December 30 14:00Full Moon 2021 January 30  06:19

 A year of full Moons showing the variation in size as the moons move from perigee to apogee. All the moons are shown on the day and time they are full (unless they are below the horizon, in which caase the size at astronomical twilight is shown), and although this is not the optimal time for size comparisons, you can clearly see the size difference over the year (compare April 8 to October 31) 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 2020 we have two Perigee Moon is a row (or four if you cont the Feb and May ones which only barely scrape in as perigee Moons). 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 October 31/November 1).

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.

There is also a "Blue" Moon. On October 31 in WA and November 30 in the  rest of Australia (due to time Zones).

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