Tonight will be the night the annual “supermoon” appears. What is the supermoon? The supermoon is a full moon that is very close to Earth. In fact, it will not only be the brightest, and largest the moon has appeared, but it will the closest since January 1948.
The full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until November 25, 2034. Even though it is the closest since 1948, it is not the closest approach on record.
Will high tides be expected? High tides will be expected tonight. The moon will be full and closer than usual. Always, when there are full moons tides will be high, be careful.
The distance between the Earth and the moon changes because the moon does not orbit in a perfect circle. The term supermoon originated from astrology which was official until 1979.
The main reason why the orbit of the moon is not perfect is because there are a lot of tidal, or gravitational forces that are pulling on the moon. With so many different gravitational forces pulling and pushing on the moon, this gives opportunities to have these close passes.
On average, the moon orbits approximately 238,855 miles (384,400 kilometers) from Earth. When a full moon is at perigee, it orbits slightly closer, making it appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter in the sky. Tonight’s supermoon will be approximately 221,524 miles (365,508 kilometers) from Earth.