The “strawberry supermoon” is nothing special, but the virality has also broken astronomy

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Tonight the sky will be filled with the “strawberry supermoon“. And we do not say it, almost everyone says it. However, despite the fact that many promise a unique show in 50 years, the truth is that everything looks more like a marketing product more like a truly remarkable astronomical event. What is true and what is not in tonight’s Supermoon?


What is a supermoon? It may seem like a no-brainer, but the Moon’s orbit is not a circle. For not being, it is not even a perfect ellipse. This means that, as it revolves around the Earth, it is sometimes closer and sometimes further away. When the perigee (the closest point between the Moon and the Earth) coincides with a full moon, what we are going to see tonight is produced: a supermoon.

Will it look too big? Yes and no. It is true that tonight’s Moon will look larger than usual, but not too much. As it will be ‘only’ about 357,000 kilometers away, we are talking about a moon 14% larger and up to 30% brighter than usual.

But, as I say, that is not as much as it seems. The difference in the apparent size of a micromoon (when our satellite was furthest) and a supermoon (when it is closest) is so small that it becomes almost imperceptible to the naked eye. In fact, we are not even talking about a particularly noteworthy closeness (something that did happen a couple of years ago)

Moon

So is it a lie? Let’s say it’s marketing. as i said Neil deGrasse Tyson a few years ago, “If you had an 8-inch pizza, would you say it’s a super pizza compared to an 6-inch pizza?” For this reason, or ‘supermoon’ is a term traditionally “frowned upon” among the scientific community. However, the media hype around this phenomenon is a fantastic opportunity to get excited about astronomy. Even to introduce the smallest of the family or go out with friends. Of course, it is better to moderate expectations.

Everything you need to know to enjoy the biggest moon in 68 years

And what about the “strawberry moon”? In recent years, it has also become fashionable to name the different full moons that are in the year. Although it is sometimes associated with the reddish color of the satellite, the origin of the term “strawberry moon” seems to be in the names that used by native canadians. From there come names like the “wolf’s moon” (for January), the “hunter’s moon” (for October) and “flower moon” (for May). It does not have much more mystery: it is, again, astronomical marketing.

When can it be seen? This astronomical event can be seen in Spain from 1:52 p.m. and during the early hours of Tuesday to Wednesday. The moment of maximum apogee will be found between 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. It will be at dusk and in a good part of the country it will not be night yet, but it can be seen very clearly in the sky of the entire territory. Besides, the skies will be clear…there must have been something good about the hot one.

Image | Zoltan Taasi

Tonight the sky will be filled with the “strawberry supermoon“. And we do not say it, almost everyone says it.…

Tonight the sky will be filled with the “strawberry supermoon“. And we do not say it, almost everyone says it.…

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