Today – March 19 – features the closest full moon of 2011. Some are calling it a supermoon. As a result, you might look for higher-than-usual tides along the ocean coastlines throughout the world.
Because the moon – as always – shines opposite the sun in our sky at full moon, you’ll see the moon beaming all night tonight from dusk until dawn. This extra-close full moon is likely to usher in large tides along the ocean shorelines for the next several days, especially if these high tides are accompanied by strong onshore winds.
Why is this moon so close? The reason is that the 2011 March full moon falls on the same date as perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth for the month. At perigee today, the moon lies only 356,575 kilometers (221,575 miles) away. Earlier this month, on March 6, the moon swung to apogee – its farthest point for the month. At that time, the moon was 406,583 kilometers (252,639 miles) distant.
March 19, 2011 presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth since December 12, 2008. The moon won’t come this close again until November 14, 2016. The extra-close moon in all of these years – 2008, 2011 and 2016 – finds the full moon occurring on the same date as lunar perigee. More often than not, the closest perigee of the year comes on the day that the full moon and perigee coinicide.
How often does the full moon coincide with perigee? Closest full moons recur in cycles of 14 lunar (synodic) months, because 14 lunar months almost exactly equal 15 returns to perigee. A lunar month refers to the time period between successive full moons, a mean period of 29.53059 days. An anomalistic month refers to successive returns to perigee, a period of 27.55455 days. Hence:
14 x 29.53059 days = 413.428 days
15 x 27.55455 days = 413.318 days
This time period is equal to about 1 year, 1 month, and 18 days. The full moon and perigee will realign again on May 6, 2012, because the 14th full moon after today’s full moon will fall on that date.
(I got this information from: http://earthsky.org/tonight/high-tide-alert-closest-full-moon-of-2011-on-march-19)
It is just great to look at this full moon. I was observing it with my binoculars and could see it very well. It is so exciting!
I´ve also put my cristals at the moon light to clean them and give them new pure energy.
Go out there, take some minutes and enjoy this lovely full moon!