Super Mega Monster Moon was a no-show

Full Moon 19 March 2011 (aka Moonageddon, Super Moon, Mega Perigee Moon)

Photographed from Wolverhampton, UK

In two respects:

  • It was pissing down rain here in Sydney last night, and the moon could not be seen behind the cloud cover.
  • Nothing dramatic or remarkable or disastrous happened at all. So much for Moonageddon.

People in the Northern Hemisphere are posting moon shots to Flickr & YouTube now though. Looks pretty enough, although I think the poster of the video below missed a trick by not having Bad Moon Rising as the soundtrack.

Technical explanation of what actually happened astronomically:

The last time the full moon was so big and close to Earth was in March 1993.

“You’ve got two cycles here. You’ve got 29-and-a-half days between full moons and then you’ve got 27 and a half days from apogee to apogee,” Mr Wyatt said.

“That difference builds up and although you get a perigee every month, to get it at minimum distance takes about 18 years.”

Perigee full moons also usually bring extra-high tides, but Daniel Jaksa, co-director of the joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, says they will probably be a fraction of one per cent higher than normal.

Categories: fun & hobbies, Science


10 replies

  1. Nicely framed shot from Berkshire.

  2. And here’s a nice Aussie one from Melbourne:

  3. We were luckier here in Perth. It was dazzlingly brilliant. I even caught the dog sitting outside staring at it.

  4. It was a shame to miss the moon, although for various reasons we were particularly busy and tired this weekend, so sleep would have beaten moon viewing anyway, but I’ve really enjoyed the rain in Sydney. While we’re still to an extent coasting on the fabulous La Nina rainfall from spring (which continued further south throughout summer) it’s been really dry in Sydney for nearly three months, and I view a decent piss down (the opposite of piss up I guess?) every so often as part of the ideal order of things.
    It doesn’t make for photos of the above calibre though.

  5. APOD has a lovely shot today of the moon over the Parthenon.

  6. You know what I think is amazing about the Parthenon image (apart from the moon)? The cranes and scaffolding! I’ll bet the Athenians didn’t use those during construction in the 5th century BCE 🙂

  7. I’m starting to wish I had a decent digital camera (rather than just the one on my phone, which I have a lot of trouble accessing images from), because the past two nights, the moon has been rising over the Darling Range as I’ve been driving home from work (Bunbury to Parmelia; thanks be to the gods the contract is ending this week). Very nice, very dramatic as I’m driving north, sun setting on the left side, moon rising on the right.

  8. @ Lauredhel – Beautiful photo. We didn’t have rain but we did have cloud cover so no moon viewing for us. It looked nice last night though.
    @ Sheryl – we were there about 17 years ago and the cranes and scaffolding was all there then. I suspect that the upkeep of such an old structure is pretty intensive and they may well be there for many more years to come.

  9. Deja vu here. There was a big moon around 2000, I think, and I got all excited and dragged all my friends down to Tamarama beach on a chilly evening, with a bottle of champagne, and a wind blowing sand in our faces, to watch it rise. Clouds all along the horizon; couldn’t see a thing. Took a while to live it down.

  10. I got a good view of the moon in a temporarily clear sky as I was taking the dogs for their nightly before-bed toilet break in the park (romantic, eh?) which is my usual moon watching time, but it didn’t look any more dramatic than the usual full autumn moon – I’ve seen bigger. (Yes I do understand it’s the same size all along :-D) It would probably have been more spectacular when I was taking them for their pre sunrise morning walk, but sadly the cloud cover had come down by then.
    The Moon Festival is big here in the Footscray area and the legend is that you can see rabbits in the moon. I know I can. This is the time when the Moon festival ought to be, but of course in the southern hemisphere we are always arse about.

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