Supermoon rises at sunset; earth, moon get intimate

Summer Solstice Sunset Observation Program at the Parowan Gap, Supermoon, Parowan, Utah, June 23, 2013 | Photo by Ron Olroyd, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — After reaching its fullest stage at 2:09 p.m., this summer’s most super “supermoon” will begin to peek up over the eastern horizon at approximately 8:24 p.m. Sunday delivering a true celestial treat for moon lovers and stargazers alike.

According to NASA’s website, the moon is designated as a “supermoon” because of the position of the moon in relation to both the earth and sun. The moon is viewed from earth as a full moon when it is positioned directly across from the sun, and designated a perigee moon when it comes nearest to the earth. When the moon becomes full and perigee on the same day it is known as a “supermoon.”

But tonight’s moon represents the most super “supermoon” of summer 2014 — falling in between the “supermoons” of July 12 and Sept. 9 — because the perigee and state of fullness occur within the same hour.

As long as the sky is clear, the moon should appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter tonight. In reality, the enhanced size and luminosity of a supermoon, especially when it hangs closest to the horizon, is but an unexplainable illusion in the scientific realm.

Regardless, try to wander outside just before the sun sinks below the western horizon to experience earth’s only natural satellite in its most illuminating glow.

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  • anonymous August 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    But if we donate blood then we can’t go to Biolife and get paid for 8 weeks. We could be out a few hundred dollors.

    • anonymous moonbeam August 10, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      What … does that have to do with the moon?
      Ed. ellipsis.

  • BOBBER August 10, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    i went out and looked at it and it was meh. not impressed…

  • Paul Jensen August 11, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Well I guess it would have been a good article except for the fact that the moon didn’t appear above the clouds on the horizon until well after dark at 9:50 p.m.

    • Brian August 11, 2014 at 10:44 am

      It’s still a good article. I’m glad St. George News is bringing awareness to things like this. They’re easy to miss otherwise, and a good chance to teach our kids to appreciate God’s creations.

  • Brian August 11, 2014 at 7:33 am

    There is also the Perseid meteor shower this week, peaking on Monday or Tuesday night. The shooting stars will emanate just down and left from Cassiopeia (the big W) in the northeast part of the sky, lower down. The best time to view is a couple hours before dawn (when the moon will be set).

  • S. Carter August 11, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Good job blocking the super moon clouds!!

  • Monna August 12, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I saw a supper moon once Bobber bent over. I had a good view but then his head got it the way. I was disappointed.

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