I am writing this article on 7th April 2020, an important date. The moon today will be super moon.
The size of moon will look bigger and will be brighter. This is because the moon will be nearest to earth and also full moon.
When Earth , moon and Sun are in straight line, full moon occurs. We see it every month. When three celestial bodies come in straight line, it is called syzygy.
Perigee and Apogee
Moon has elliptical orbit. Every point on the orbit has different distance from earth. The earth is also not in centre of the elliptical orbit. The point on orbit which is nearest to earth is called perigee. The point on orbit which is farthest from earth is called apogee.
When full moon or new moon occures and it is on perigee or near to perigee, the moon looks bigger and brighter. This moon is called Super moon. It is also called Perigee syzygy of earth , moon and sun.
The Super moon occuring today is also called pink moon. We should not confuse with colour of moon. The pink name comes from pink flower which bloom, during this period of super moon.
Effect of Super Moon
All of us know that tide occurs in the sea due to combined gravitational force of moon and sun. During Super moon, as moon is nearer to earth, the tides are about 2 inch higher than normal tide.
When full moon occurs and it is at apogee or near to apogee, its size and brightness is lesser. It is called micro moon.
Size , Brightness and Distance
The Super moon is 14% larger and 30% brighter compared to micro moon.
The distance of earth from perigee is 3,63,300 KM and from apogee is 4,05,500 KM.
Best time to see
The best time to see a super moon is at the time of moon rise. It looks bigger and spectacular as it is near to horizon
Although Super moon occurs once or twice every year, the closest was on November 2016.