When the summer twilight clears this evening, the moon will light up the sky. It is a phenomenon that attracts the attention of many people, and for good reason. The super moon is a phenomenon in which the moon is at its closest distance from Earth, making it brighter and seemingly larger than usual. But what makes this moon special and what other names does it have?
Almost a hundred years ago, the Maine Farmers’ Almanac began calling this particular moon the “Deer Moon.” They attributed this nickname to the Algonquin peoples of the northeastern United States. According to NASA, each full moon has many names, many of which have been passed down from generation to generation over the centuries in different cultures and traditions. The July full moon also has different names in different regions and cultures. In some parts of Europe, it is known as the Hay Moon, reflecting the traditional haymaking season. Others call it the Honey Moon. In Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain cultures, this day is revered as the Full Moon of the “Guru.
What is a “supermoon”?
An attentive observer of the night sky will notice that the moon not only goes through its phases, but also seems to change in size during the month. This phenomenon occurs because of the elliptical trajectory in which the moon orbits the Earth. From time to time, the Moon approaches our planet, reaching its closest point or “perigee.” At other times, it moves farther away, reaching its farthest point or “apogee. Each full noon that we observe during the year is at a slightly different distance from Earth. This is due to its elliptical orbit. As a result, some full moons appear smaller and dimmer, while others appear larger and brighter in the sky. The brightest full moons are called super moons.
Super Moon: A Magnificent Spectacle
Retired NASA scientist Fred Espenak expects the moon to shine about 25 percent brighter than the February full moon at this year’s apogee, which is the farthest, smallest and dimmest full moon of the year. This makes it almost 13 percent brighter than the normal full moon we observed in April or May. The concept of the “illusion of the moon” also plays a role in our perception of the size of the moon. The illusion that the moon appears larger when it is near the horizon compared to when it is high in the sky has been the subject of debate among scientists and observers alike. Although we know that the size of the Moon remains constant, the visual distortion created by this illusion can make comparison difficult. However, this does not prevent us from appreciating the increased brightness of the Moon during a supermoon.
The Super Moon: Historical and Scientific Significance
Not only is the super moon a magnificent sight in the night sky, but it also has historical and scientific significance. Its name and tradition have been passed down from generation to generation. It serves as a reminder of how people in different cultures have observed and studied the moon over the centuries. In addition, supermoons provide scientists with the opportunity to study the Moon in more detail and gain new data about its structure and origin.