Friday, January 27, 2023
2023: "Blue" Moons and "Super" Moons, a year of full Moons
|Full Moon January 7, 21:18 ACDST. Apogee 8th -1d9h.||Full Moon February 6, 21:18 ACDST (FM 4 am, apogee 4th -1d9h)||Full Moon March 7, FM 23:00 ACDST|
|Full Moon April 6, 21:27 ACST||Full Moon May 6 03:52 ACST, at maximum penumbral Lunar eclipse||Full Moon June 6 18:41 ACST|
|Full Moon July 3 18:41:00 ACST. ||Full Moon August 2 5:00 ACST. Perigee 2nd 3:30pm||Full Moon August 31 02:00 ACST. Perigee, 11:30 am (best this year) also Blue Moon|
|Full Moon September 29 20:00 ACST,||Full Moon October 29 05:04 ACST Partial Lunar Eclipse||Full Moon November 17 21:53 ACDST|
|Full Moon December 27 21:18 ACST Maximum libration 19:30 ACST||First Quarter Moon April 28 19:02 ACST apogee 16:30 ACST||First Quarter Moon November 20 21:02 ACDST perigee 22nd 18:30 ACDST|
A year of full Moons showing the variation in size as the moons move from perigee to apogee. I also show the apogee and Perigee First Quarter Moons. All the moons are shown on the day and time they are full (unless they are below the horizon, in which case 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 Feb 6 to Aug 31) the original scale for all is 2 degrees of field of view cropped down). Although the field rotation of the Moon makes it less clear, you can also see the effect of libration.
In 2023 we have two good Perigee Moons in a row (August 2, August 31), one of which is a “Blue Moon” (August 31). 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 February 6, even though this is not a good apogee Moon).
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:
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 penumbral Lunar Eclipse on 5/6 May and a poor Partial Lunar eclipse favouring WA on October 29 in the early morning.