‘Supermoon’ shines on Sunday

May 7, 2012 7:32 am


Perigee moon rises over Mt Eden in New Zealand's largest city of Auckland/XINHUA
TIANJIN, May 7 – A “supermoon” appeared in the sky on Sunday, when the natural satellite of Earth was at its biggest and brightest this year.
In many places of China, the public enjoyed seeing a much bigger and brighter moon than usual.

The moon’s distance from Earth varies between approximately 350,000 km and 400,000 km due to its oval orbit, meaning it appears to be various sizes when seen from our planet.

At 11:35am Sunday (Beijing Time), the moon was the brightest in this year as it “directly faced” the sun and reflected all sunlight to Earth.
At noon, the moon was the biggest this year as it arrived at its perigee, or the closest point to Earth in its orbit, explained Zhao Zhiheng, a member of the Tianjin Astronomy Society.

As it appeared in Beijing’s daytime, residents of the Chinese capital needed a telescope or other astronomic viewing apparatus to observe the phenomenon.

The supermoon tends to have a greater impact on high and low tides, but claims that it is linked to natural disasters like earthquakes or volcanic eruptions have been denied by experts.

“The supermoon is neither mysterious nor strange. It is a normal celestial phenomenon and will not affect people’s lives,” Zhao said.

Last year’s supermoon appeared on March 19, when it was the biggest and brightest in 18 years.

The supermoon will shine again on June 23 next year.


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