Supermoon: The clouds are gone and the moon is really super tonight

Clear sky means second chance to view largest and brightest moon in almost 70 years

A view of the moon from Greystones on Monday evening with an aircraft passing across on its approach to Dublin Airport. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

A view of the moon from Greystones on Monday evening with an aircraft passing across on its approach to Dublin Airport. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Irish skygazers who were disappointed when Monday’s cloud spoiled the chance to observe the largest and brightest full moon in almost 70 years, have a second chance on Tuesday night as the sky has cleared.

Astonomy Ireland said the moon would look extra bright until Wednesday with “excellent views” expecteced on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

According to Astronomy Ireland’s David Moore the moon will only be 0.6 per cent further away on Tuesday than it was on Monday, which is “impreceptible with the naked eye”

“This means that the Tuesday night Moon, from dusk until dawn, will, to all intents and purposes look the same as the Monday night Moon” said Mr Moore.

Supermoon tweets

The supermoon makes the moon appear bigger than it has done at any point since 1948.

A rare “supermoon” makes full lunar disc appear 14 per cent bigger and up to 30 per cent brighter than usual.

The effect is the result of the moon coming closer to Earth than it has done for 69 years. And it will be 2034 until it makes a similar approach.

Because the moon is such a large and bright object in the night sky, light pollution and street lamps in urban areas will not hamper viewing – all you have to do is look up.

The moon does not go around the Earth in a perfectly circular orbit, its distance can carry by as much as 14 per cent. A supermoon occurs when the moon is at its closest to Earth.

This week’s event is the biggest and best in a series of three supermoons. The first was on October 16th and the third is due on December 14th.

Besides looking spectacular, the supermoon will give tides, which are affected by the gravity of the moon and sun, a small boost. High and low tides usually reach their peak during a full or new moon.