PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio1020 KDKA) – It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s a Supermoon! Robert Mangino and Rose Ryan-Douglas found out on the KDKA Afternoon News what exactly is so super about a Supermoon.
Dr. Brendan Mullan, director of the Buhl Planetarium and Observatory at the Carnegie Science Center, broke down what we can expect to see while the Supermoon is upon us.
“It’s not as large as you might expect,” Mullan explained. “Compared to its furthest distance it will ever get, it’s only going to look about 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter or so.”
But if the moon this weekend doesn’t impress you; don’t worry, we are set to have them for the next few months, gradually getting bigger each time.
“We are slated for a couple of them in a row, so the best one to see is going to be up in August, but tomorrow is as good as any time to see a supermoon,” Mullan said.
It is typically unusual to have to many supermoons in a row, but as Mullan explains, it’s a quite spectacular experience to witness due to everything that has to happen in order for the supermoon to be visible.
“It’s a surprisingly complex picture, think of it this way,” Mullan says. “You have the Earth that is spinning around the sun, all the while you have the moon spinning around the Earth, and the moon has a slightly elliptical orbit, so these full moon phases don’t exactly line up when the moon is closest to Earth and it’s really irregular.”
There are plenty of places that you can go to watch the supermoon. The Science Center is an option, but also there are local amateur astronomers that host star watching parties, you can check those locations, dates and times online to find the best in your area.
You can listen to the whole interview here: