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Dale’s Daily Data: Supermoon

(Getty Images)

It has a technical name that’s way too hard to pronounce, but it’s come to be known as a “supermoon,”   It’s a natural event when the moon gets closer to the Earth than its average distance.  It happens about six times a year.  But tomorrow night the moon will make its closest approach to Earth in 18 years and about closest to Earth that it’ll ever get.  And visually, it’ll be 14 percent larger than usual and 30 percent brighter.

On average, the distance between the Earth and the moon is about 238-thousand miles, but tomorrow the distance will shrink to 221-thousand.  If the skies are clear it should be a spectacular sight, but there’s always talk that when the moon gets so relatively close to Earth it can set off unusually high tides and all kinds of natural disasters.

Supermoons can create storms, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes within 3 days before and after they’re a their peak.  Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake that rocked the San Francisco Bay area – the one that postponed the World Series in 1989 happened during a supermoon period.

Some scientists are using calculations of the alignment of the sun and moon in relation to the Earth to predict that tomorrow’s “supermoon” may affect Iceland, western Africa, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, western India and China, New Zealand and the Bering Strait.

Tomorrow’s full moon will rise at 7:49 PM.  If the skies are clear – check it out, especially when it’s low in the sky.  It’ll be the largest you’re gonna see in quite some time.

SOURCE: space.com

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