lunar-perigee

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Super moon rises during Mid-Autumn Festival

People across China marked the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sunday, despite the cloudy skies in some parts of the country obscuring the moon.

Sunday was also a rare super moon followed by a lunar eclipse.

According to Purple Mountain Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, when the moon is very close to the earth, it is termed as a lunar perigee, i.e., the moon appears very large when viewed from the earth.

Here’s a collection of pictures of the super moon from around the world.

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The Difference A Dark Sky Makes

“As the Moon came out of eclipse, a brilliant sliver of greyish Moon emerged on the eastern side, a sign of the Earth’s shadow slipping off of it. But the Milky Way was still visible overhead, just gradually less-and-less detailed. The fainter stars slipped away into the night, while the brighter stars became fainter and less colored.

But there was a surprise to me as well. The portion of the Moon still in eclipse — much to my surprise — remained reddened in color! It only occurred to me at that moment that the un-illuminated portion of the Moon, the part still in eclipse, would still be the recipient of the light of Earthshine, but that light would be predominantly red while the Moon was in its full phase!”

By far, one of the highlights of astronomy this year took place earlier this week: a total lunar eclipse featuring a perigee Moon. The sight of watching the Earth’s shadow consume the Moon, eventually swallowing it whole and revealing a faint, red lunar disk, and then the process reversing itself, is unlike any other visible to the naked eye. But the rest of the sky is always a treat as well. While a full Moon often ruins an otherwise pristine night sky with its light pollution, a dark sky during a lunar eclipse can be just as exciting as a new Moon sky, with a transition unlike anything else.