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This Is What’s Special About A Full Supermoon Occurring On The Equinox This Year

26 Mar 2019, 14:01 UTC
This Is What’s Special About A Full Supermoon Occurring On The Equinox This Year
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The word Supermoon came into popular use in 2011, where three Supermoons in a row graced the night sky. Shown here is the central one from that year, observed over Munich, Germany. Supermoons are brighter and closer than any other full Moons experienced on Earth, corresponding to lunar perigee coinciding with the full phase. But during the equinox, something even more special occurs: a chance to measure the Earth’s axial tilt and the Moon’s orbital tilt as it revolves around the Earth. (KAI SCHREIBER / FLICKR)If you’re careful enough, you can learn more about the Solar System than you ever imagined.This year, on March 20th, the full Moon will illuminate the night sky. With the Moon reaching perigee, or the point in its orbit where it comes closest to Earth, just the day before, we’ll have a supermoon: where the Moon appears substantially larger and brighter than average. Although supermoons happen a few times per year, the one occurring on March 20th is special.That’s because it’s also the spring equinox, where the Earth’s axis is tilted perfectly perpendicular to the imaginary line connecting the Sun and Earth. While we get a spring equinox every year, the coincidence of a full ...

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