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Monday, February 18, 2019


Reminder, Perigee Full Moon of February 19/20 2018

Shortly before  Full Moon on Tuesday, 19 February at 23:59 ACDST (strictly Full Moon is at 2:30 ACDST). The full Moon is a perigee Moon when the Full Moon is closest to the Earth. This is hot on the heels of the January 21, 2019 perigee Moon and is the last chance to get a good Perigee/Apogee moon contrast until 2032.

A full Moon at perigee has been called a "Super Moon", this is not an astronomical term (the astronomical term is perigee syzygy, but that doesn't trip off the tongue so nicely), but an astrological one first coined in 1979 (see here).

Still, it is a good excuse to get people out and looking at the Moon.

Chart comparing the binocular/telescopic appearance of the Wednesday, 20 February Full Perigee Moon and the 13 September 2019 Full apogee Moon.  Click to embiggen.

While perigee (closest approach) of the Moon is actually at 19:30 ACDST, and the Full Moon is on 2:20 ACDST on the 20th, tcatching the Moon shorlty before midnight will give you a good sized Moon so close to Full you can't tell the difference. 

Even so it will be hard to distinguish from most normal full Moons.

 However, this will be a good opportunity to image the full moon through telescopes or binoculars. If then take a photo of the Moon on September 13 you will see a decent difference (you need to use exactly the same zoom enlargement. The pairing of the February 19 Perigee Moon and the September 13 apogee Moon will be the best contrast we will get until 2032.

Full details and links to hints on imaging the perigee Moon are here for mobile phone and here for standard cameras

Images of the January 21 Perigee Moon are here, and of the the perigee apogee pair from 2014.

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