A "super thundermoon" visible tonight: how to watch it?

A “super thundermoon” visible tonight: how to watch it?


SPACE – Tonight, a rather rare event will take place in the sky. What NASA has dubbed a “super thunder moon” will be observable wherever you are in France. Blood Moon, Blue Moon or Strawberry Moon, astronomers do not lack inspiration to name these moons in an ever more poetic way even if they do not look far.

The American agency explains that this supermoon could be “up to 14% bigger and 30% brighter”. Unlike the “super Moon” observed this year, this one will be the closest to Earth.

Why “Thunder Moon”? It takes its name from the period during which it is visible, that is to say the month of July. Being considered one of the hottest months and stormy in the Northern Hemisphere, this supermoon was baptized by this name.

But what exactly is this “Super Thunder Moon”? This is a time when the earth satellite, through its oval orbit, comes as close as possible to our planet. To put it simply, the natural satellite will be relatively close to the Earth. This kind of phenomenon happens about once every 4 full moons. But in reality, it is quite difficult to observe it with the naked eye.

A Not So “Great” Moon

First, the “super Moon”. Scientists don’t really use this word, but prefer perigee-syzygy. This means that at this precise moment, two things are happening at the same time. First, it’s the full Moon: the Moon and the Sun are located opposite each other with respect to the Earth. The rays of our star therefore illuminate an entire face of our satellite. It is syzygy.

Then there is the perigee. The Moon revolves around the Earth, but not as a circle. The orbit is in the shape of an ellipse, which means that every 28 days, our satellite reaches a point that is furthest from the Earth.

A supermoon is therefore the conjunction of a full moon and the coming together of the Earth and the Moon. We speak of a supermoon when the full moon occurs when the star is at least 90% of its perigee.

But optimal conditions

To observe the phenomenon, it will therefore be necessary to wait for sunset. Due to the heat wave that is hitting the country, the weather conditions will be optimal for observing the event.

If you want to see the details of this supermoon, stay away from light pollution or fireworks and bring your binoculars (or better yet, a telescope). For those who prefer to stay cool, a final “supermoon” should be visible on August 11.

See also on The HuffPost: Robots tested on Etna before going to the Moon

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