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Super Perigee Moon Over OregonPhoto by Dexter Phoenix Story by Tim King Salem-News.com
The phenomenon causes the moon to appear 14% bigger than usual.
(SALEM, Ore.) - If you gazed into the sky Saturday night and wondered if the moon looked bigger than usual, you were entirely correct. Saturday's full moon was the biggest in almost two decades.
It seems oddly appropriate at this time in history when the earth is shaking madly and natural disasters are accompanied by man made ones, but NASA says there is no danger from this unusual site that the space agency calls a super "perigee moon".
Their scientists confirmed that it was the biggest moon we earthlings have witnessed in almost 20 years.
"The last full Moon so big and close to Earth occurred in March of 1993," says Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC.
Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit according to NASA.
"It is an ellipse with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other."
Nearby perigee moons are about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than lesser moons that occur on the apogee side of the Moon's orbit."
"The full Moon of March 19th occurs less than one hour away from perigee--a near-perfect coincidence1 that happens only 18 years or so," adds Chester.
A perigee full Moon brings with it extra-high "perigean tides," but this is nothing to worry about, according to NOAA.
In most places, lunar gravity at perigee pulls tide waters only a few centimeters (an inch or so) higher than usual. Local geography can amplify the effect to about 15 centimeters (six inches)--not exactly a great flood.
Contrary to some reports circulating the Internet, perigee Moons do not trigger natural disasters. The "super moon" of March 1983 is an example.
It all took place without incident. NASA says an almost-super Moon in Dec. 2008 also proved harmless.
The phenomenon causes the moon to appear 14% bigger than usual. The bottom line is that even a super perigee Moon is still 356,577 km away from earth.
NASA, NOAA, CNN
A lifelong surfer, Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
Dexter Phoenix has worked as a staff and freelance photographer since the mid-1990's and has a wealth of professional experiences on his resume. We welcome his presence to our staff and Salem-News.com. This native of Great Britian moved to Los Angeles in 2007, where he photographed general news, general Interests, sports, freelance model photo work, and also stock images. In his career Dexter has had photos published : World wide, in many magazines and newspapers and online. Throughout the course of his career he has experience with technology of all imaginable types. In his career as a photographer Dexter has covered stories in Norway, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, France, Mexico, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, Somalia, Tunisia, Algeria. Angola, Iran, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Colombia, United States. Email inquiries about photo purchase to Dexter at the above address. You can email Dexter Phoenix, Salem-News.com Photographer/Reporter, at email@example.com
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