Monday’s night sky offered another moon event of the year as it turned reddish, apparently larger-than-average and shinier than the regular full moons.
Sky watchers and others in the United States enjoyed the celestial treat to its zenith on Monday evening when the moon turned full at 6:38 pm.
The moon rose in the western sky shortly after sunset on Monday and reached the “supermoon” at 9:38 pm ET, scientists said.
It was the third supermoon of the summer.
Supermoon, a nonscientific term to describe the Earth’s satellite, occurs when the moon turns full and reaches perigree- the point of its orbit when it closest to the Earth.
As the moon does not travel around the Earth in its regular trajectory in a perfect circle, hence, it offers a rare sight as there are times when it is too closer and very further away.
Philip Erikson, principal research scientist at the Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, “Because the moon is at perigee, it’s going to be about 13 or 14 percent bigger optically and about 30 percent brighter.”
The supermoon on Monday will also be a harvest moon, i.e. the Earth’s planet will be closest to the autumn equinox which will be falling this year on September 23.
According to NASA, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day in usual days on an average. But as the autumnal equinox nears, the time difference reduces to only 30 minutes.
The moon appeared redder than usual at moonrise due to its low angle of rise during the harvest phase.
Monday’s Harvest Moon was the third and final supermoon seen this year in the Northern Hemisphere.