The mother of all super moons will rise this weekend — in fact, it hasn’t been this good since 1948. Prof. Lawrence Rudnick of the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Minnesota spoke about the phenomenon:
What creates a super moon?
When the moon is closest to Earth and it happens to orbit at the time of a full moon phase, “we get a big, beautiful moon,” said Rudnick. There are subtle things in the moon’s elliptical orbit that will make this super moon particularly arresting — the most-super of super moons.
You needn’t head for the country to escape city lights. “There is no special thing you need to do,” Rudnick said. “Just go out and look at it.” But the super moon will be best Sunday and Monday nights when the moon is closest to being full. In fact, the moon will be closest at 5:21 a.m. Monday. “You might or might not be able to see the difference from other full moons,” he said. “It’s actually only about 10 percent bigger. It’s a bit subtle.”
“If you’re nerds like we scientists,” said Rudnick, try something quantitative like taking a picture of the moon with a landmark in the frame. Later, take the exact same photo during a different full moon phase. You should be able to notice the difference in sizes.
If you miss it
You’ll have to wait until the next super-duper moon in ... wait for it ... 2034.
“From the research side, there is nothing of interest,” Rudnick said. “But from the human side, they are fun things to observe in the sky.”