Orwell Astronomical Society (Ipswich)

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Supermoon, 13 November 2016

The orbit of the Moon around the Earth is elliptical, with the distance between the centres of the two bodies varying between 363,000 km (at perigee) and 406,000 km (at apogee). A supermoon is said to occur when full moon and perigee occur together. A supermoon appears larger and brighter than an average full moon. A supermoon occurred on 14 November 2016, with the Moon at its closest perigee since 1948.

Although the increase in size and brightness of a supermoon relative to an average full moon is not apparent to casual observation (requiring careful measurement to discern) the media hyped the story and featured it among the opening headlines in press, radio and TV news.

The forecast for 14 November was for dense cloud, so OASI members Mike O'Mahony and David Murton took photographs of the almost-full moon on 13 November. Mike took photographs from his garden in Felixstowe, using a Canon 60Da camera with 200 mm lens to capture an image at 16:30 UT and a 120 mm refractor and 60Da camera to capture another at 19:27 UT. David took photos from near the foot of the Orwell Bridge; BBC 1 featured one of his photographs in the lunchtime new headlines.

20161113_supermoon_DM_7587.jpg David Murton

20161113_supermoon_DM_7845.jpg David Murton

20161113_supermoon_MOM_1.jpg Mike O'Mahony, 16:30 UT

20161113_supermoon_MOM_2.jpg Mike O'Mahony, 19:27 UT