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The Urban Astronomer

Super New Moon and Ultra Spring Tides

29 Dec 2013, 06:46 UTC
Super New Moon and Ultra Spring Tides
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I live on the west side of San Francisco near Ocean Beach and enjoy seeing the impact of the Sun and Moon firsthand. I watch the seasonal changes to the high and low tides at the beach and note the relative impact of the changing phases of the Moon and the subtle influence of the Sun's near and far approaches to the Earth. These changes are compounded on January 1st and the impact on tides will be dramatic.On January 1st, we'll experience the first of three "SuperMoons" for 2014, but you won't be able to see the first one as it will be a Super New Moon. Previously we had some beautiful Super Full Moons, glorious to watch as they rise and dominate the night sky. But a Super New Moon is so close to the Sun that it's not visible at all. However, it's influence is felt in our oceans and on full display in the tidal highs and lows. On January 1st, we see the convergence of three separate influences on the tides:- the larger than usual Spring Tide that takes place each month at New Moon- the influence of "Perihelion" when the Sun is nearest the Earth ...

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