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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 03 May 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Supermoon on Saturday is Good for Photographers

Saturday’s Moon will be a “supermoon” and all that means is that the full Moon will look big and brightfar side moon jpl.copy because it’s nearer to us than it is normally.

News outlets are stressing that there is nothing to be afraid of because the Moon isn’t suddenly going to take a nosedive into our planet or cause chaos. How can we be certain we have nothing to fear? Supermoons are a phenomenon that occur once a year on average according to this National Geographic article and we are all still here reading this having lived through many supermoons.

Phil Plait, an astronomer, skeptic, and founder of the Bad Astronomy blog which is now linked to Discover Magazine’s website, is going one step further and calling it “hype.”  He is slightly aggravated that the world is even discussing the supermoon because he thought he had done his job debunking it as “nonsense” last year.

Like Plait, NASA released an itty-bitty two question article last year that reiterated the entire lack of affect the supermoon has on Earth. It won’t affect the tides or the Earth’s internal energy balance.

Last year’s supermoon was reportedly “the closest supermoon in two decades, when the moon was a mere 221,565 miles (356,575 kilometers) from Earth.” This year’s is suppose to be 221,801 miles (356,955 kilometers) from us. But the way this “larger” Moon is made possible is always the same it has to do with its elliptical or egg-shaped orbit.  

The orbit always has a point when the Moon is closest to the Earth and that’s called the perigee. When the Moon is at perigree and full we get a “supermoon.” Not to be confused with: when the Moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie and we get amore.

This weekend the Moon should be pretty to gaze at and photograph but if you are already an avid moon-watcher it may be nothing special to you.

Commenters on Plait’s recent blog are calling him “jaded” and “elitist” for making the event which could encourage an interest in nature and science sound underwhelming. Plait responded to the attacks by saying: “Elitist? I actually make a big point in the last paragraph to let people know they should go out and observe it! My problem with this whole thing is that 1) it’s based on nonsense, b) you can’t see the difference, and γ) it’s being overhyped. It’s an interesting thing, sure, but I’m seeing a lot of ZOMG HUGE MOON kind of stuff. It’s silly.”

Tags: moon, NASA
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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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