Tonight, November 14th is Supermoon Night! To be sure, it’s a cool astronomical event. Tonight’s full moon will be the biggest and brightest in almost 69 years! In fact, the full moon won’t come this close to Earth again until Nov. 25, 2034. That said, the Supermoon isn’t quite what you are probably seeing in all those cool photographs either. Not to be a bummer, but if you go out, it’s good idea to temper your expectations.
I think Neil deGrasse Tyson put it best when he tweeted, “Tonite’s SuperMoon is Super versus October’s Full Moon only if you think 16.05 inch pizzas are Super relative to 16 inch pizzas.” So while the moon definitely does look bigger and brighter to the naked eye, it’s not the size of a dinner plate either.
Photographers use a variety of techniques with telephoto lenses, perspectives and editing to create the illusion of that super duper, Supermoon. While they create some great pictures, they also set some false expecations and disapointment. Which is too bad because a big, bright full moon is a beautiful site anytime of any year without all the hype.
Last evening we saw a good number of cars parked around the park and especially along South Shore Road to watch the super moon rise over the lake between the East and South Bluffs. They were rewarded with an amazing moon, whispy clouds and bight stars all reflected on the surface of the lake. Beautiful! If you can and the weater permits, I’d certainly recommend you get out tonight to see the full moon as well. You won’t be disappointed. As long as you know what to expect.