What is a super moon?
There is something mesmerizing and even poetic about a full moon, especially when it is so close to earth that it dominates the night sky and seems almost within reach.
By definition, a supermoon is a new or full moon that reaches at least 90 degrees of its closest point (its perigee). This usually happens about four to six times a year. Of course nobody gets to see a new moon. So there’s a lot more hype around full supermoons in general. These super moons appear larger than normal moons and are often significantly brighter.
An astrologer named Richard Nolle is credited with coining the term “supermoon” over 30 years ago. Officially, these moons are called “perigee syzygy” or “perigee” moons, perigee being a term referring to the point in an astrological body’s orbit where it is closest to Earth. In contrast, moons that are furthest from Earth are called “apogee moons” because an “apogee” is the highest or most distant point of something.
Since there are generally several perigee moons in a year, the closest supermoon in each year is sometimes referred to as the “proxigee moon”.
This year there are three full super moons for people to look forward to. The first is just around the corner on Tuesday 14th June. There will be another just under a month later on Wednesday 13th July. There will be another shortly after, which will take place on Friday, August 12th.
The meaning of a super moon
The Moon’s proximity to Earth during its perigee means that supermoons can amplify the Moon’s influence on Earth, often in more ways than one.
For example, on a purely physical and geographic level, super moons can have a noticeable impact on the natural world. The closer the moon gets to the earth, the stronger its gravitational pull affects the planet. The end result is that natural processes dominated by the moon, like the tides, are more pronounced and powerful than usual.
Tides during a supermoon are often elevated compared to normal. The end result is a tide that is extra high! These supermoon tides are often referred to as “king tides.” Depending on the strength of the tide at a given location under a given moon, they can even cause local flooding.
However, those interested in astrology may not be surprised to learn that some people believe that the supermoon’s gravitational pull is felt not only by Earth’s oceans, but also by astrological forces.
Many astrologers believe that the Super Moon, like the tides, can increase tides, that it can also strengthen the influences of the astrological sign it is in during a given period. The moon’s natural emotional energy is amplified and some people feel its effects on their mood or behavior.
The upcoming supermoons in 2022
Each month bears a name or title for its full moon. For example, the full moon in June is known as the Strawberry Moon. It is so named because this moon is either the last full moon of spring or the first of summer, which often coincides with the ripening of many fruits, including strawberries.
This year, the Strawberry Full Moon is in two days, June 14, and as mentioned above, it’s a Super Moon.
The next full supermoons of the year in July and August are the Buck Moon and Sturgeon Moon respectively. The Full Buck Supermoon will be the closest of the three supermoons and will be only about 357,418 kilometers from Earth.
There are few opportunities to see a supermoon each year. So, if you like stargazing, you should definitely go there to watch these lunar events.
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