Tonight the moon looks bigger and brighter than usual. It is a Super Moon. Actually it is a full moon but also a perigree moon when it is the closest to the Earth during its orbit. These two events are happening together tonight. It last happened March 19th 2011.
The moon’s orbit is not a circle. It is an ellipse which is like an oval. When the moon is closest to the earth it is 50,000km nearer than when it is furthest away. Tonight it is 356,955km distant from the Earth. It looks big and bright – if you can see it through the clouds. It appears 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the usual full moon.
High tide will be a few cm higher than usual.
The opposite of a perigree moon is an apogee moon which will occur November 27th in New Zealand. The moon will be the furthest distance from the Earth. However, it will not be a full moon at that time.
actually – to be more accurate
moon’s orbit – path around the Earth
ellipse (n) – flat circle; elliptical (adj).
high tide – the sea comes up higher on the beach
close, closer, closest; near, nearer, nearest (‘close’ and ‘near’ are regular adjectives)
far, further, furthest (‘far’ is an irregular adjective)