So it's bound to be cloudy then.
And possibly raining or snowing as well.
The Moon will looks a little bigger than usual next week, because it will be rather closer to Earth than usual – so close NASA says Monday, November 14th will be an “extra-supermoon” event. “Supermoons” occur when the new or full moon coincides with Luna's closest approach to Earth, although the term also gets used whenever …
In "The Man Who Sold The Moon", Heinlein suggests it's possible to spray very fine carbon black across vast stretches of the Moon's surface from low orbit, essentially 'tagging' it with dark markings easily visible from Earth. I always wondered if that's feasible.
"spray very fine carbon black across vast stretches of the Moon's surface from low orbit, essentially 'tagging' it with dark markings easily visible from Earth."
The problem with that is that the Moon already has a very low albedo, about equal to coal.
The reason it looks so bright is that it's against the background of space, which reflects no light, and looks very, very dark, making the little light the Moon reflects look bright.
Now if you were to use something with a higher albedo, like silica dust, that would work,
Titanium white powder would really, really work, as it'd reflect so much light, it'd probably drown out the Moon's natural surface light!
When its near the horizon it may look bigger than normal but then viewing conditions are shit. When its well above the horizon the only way you can tell its bigger than normal is with a graticule or something.
And anyway at a full moon there are no shadows so even through a scope most things look pretty flat. So hypermoon is probably the best moniker.
It was near a half moon last night and the dark/light edge looked spectacular when the clouds weren't hiding it.
"It was near a half moon last night and the dark/light edge looked spectacular when the clouds weren't hiding it."
The technical name for the dark/light edge is "terminator", and it's even more spectacular when viewed through a telescope or binoculars because that's where the Sun is just rising, so the shadows are very long, which highlights the lunar relief. If you know when and where to look, you can see the eastern edges of craters in brilliant sunlight whilst the interior of the crater is still in darkness.
You might notice a *slight* difference. Here's what the Extra-Supermoon will look like in the sky.
I've been into astronomy for donkey's years (oh, ok: since 1968) and it's only in the last few years I've heard this 'supermoon' term, or seen the fact that the full moon will look very slightly larger than average treated as a newsworthy item. It's not a rare event - these things happen periodically and predictably and reasonably frequently, so why the fuss?
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020