The next big celestial event of this year is the super moon appearing on March 9th. It goes by names like Super Worm Moon, Crow Moon, Sap Moon, and Lenten Moon. Since this is the last full moon of the astronomical winter, it is related to the beginning of Spring. Birds return to their summer habitats, earthworms come out and temperatures begin to rise.
A super moon appears larger and brighter than a regular full moon since it is near its closest distance to Earth. Here is the explanation in three simple points:
- The moon’s cycle is an elliptical orbit so its distance from the earth varies.
- This month the moon is in a phase where it is closest to the earth, which makes it appear slightly bigger in the sky.
- Astronomers say that a super moon appears 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a usual full moon.
From my experience, the moon will appear largest when it is just above the horizon line. If you are considering which lens to use to get a close-up view, try using a telephoto lens for the best results. Of course, the challenge with this kind of photo is not just technical, there is a compositional issue as well. The hard part is finding a good context for the oversized moon.
Sadly, one variable that is out of our control is the weather. Lets all cross fingers for a clear sky on the 9th evening. The moon will reach peak fullness at 1:48 P.M. EDT. Use this site to find your local time equivalent.
If you are wondering about the images above, they were taken by Peter Zajfrid, a landscape photographer from Ruse, Slovenia. All images shared with permission.