Washington, D.C. – As we approach month’s end, there is not one, not two, but three celestial events happening with our Moon!
The Moon will be located on Earth’s opposite side from the Sun and fully illuminated May 26th, 2021, at 6:13am CT. This Full Moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Flower Moon because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance.
Compared to other Full Moons in 2021, the Flower Moon will have the nearest approach to Earth, making it appear as the closet and largest Full Moon of the year.
Washington, D.C. – If you live in the western part of North America, Alaska, and the Hawaiian islands, you might set your alarm early the morning of Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 for a lunar trifecta: a pre-dawn “super blue blood moon.”
“For the (continental) U.S., the viewing will be best in the West,” said Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Set your alarm early and go out and take a look.”
Written by Lyle Tavernier
Pasadena, CA – The term “supermoon” has been popping up a lot in the news and on social media over the past few years. But what are supermoons, why do they occur and how can they be used as an educational tool. Plus, are they really that super?
There’s a good chance you’ll hear even more about supermoons in the coming months. The full moon on December 3rd marked the first and only supermoon of 2017, but it will be followed by two more in January 2018. Three supermoons in a row! Now is a great time to learn about these celestial events and get students exploring more about Earth’s only natural satellite.
Written by Sarah Schlieder
Greenbelt, MD – The moon is a familiar sight in our sky, brightening dark nights and reminding us of space exploration, past and present. But the upcoming supermoon — on Monday, November 14th — will be especially “super” because it’s the closest full moon to Earth since 1948. We won’t see another supermoon like this until 2034.
The moon’s orbit around Earth is slightly elliptical so sometimes it is closer and sometimes it’s farther away. When the moon is full as it makes its closest pass to Earth it is known as a supermoon.
Science at NASA
Washington, D.C. – In the days before light bulbs, farmers relied on moonlight to help them harvest their crops. Many crops ripen all at once in late summer and early autumn so farmers found themselves extremely busy at this time of year. They had to work after sundown. Moonlight became an essential part of farming, and thus, the Harvest Moon was born.
According to folklore, the Harvest Moon is the full Moon that falls closest to the autumnal equinox, the hectic beginning of northern autumn. In 2015, the Moon is full on September 28th, less than a week after the equinox of September 23rd. The coincidence sets the stage for a nice display of harvest moonlight.
Written by Ashley Morrow
Greenbelt, MD – On the evening of September 27th, 2015, into the early morning of September 28th EDT, operators of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) will wait as Earth blots out the sun and the moon goes dark.
The flight operations team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, have seen LRO safely through three lunar eclipses in about a year and a half. Although it is certainly not an ordinary night, science operations planner Dawn Myers at Goddard said the team knows the routine.
“We have a method and it works well,” she said. “It’s always stressful during the approach of the eclipse, but we follow the same procedures every time and we haven’t had any trouble.”
Written by Ashley Morrow
Greenbelt, MD – Coming soon for the first time in more than 30 years: you’ll be able to witness a supermoon in combination with a lunar eclipse.
Late on September 27th, 2015, in the U.S. and much of the world, a total lunar eclipse will mask the moon’s larger-than-life face for more than an hour.
But what is this behemoth of the night sky? Not a bird, not a plane, it’s a supermoon! Although this incarnation of the moon comes around only once every year, it’s not as mysterious as you might think.
Written by Tony Phillips
Washington, D.C. – Every year, sky watchers and summertime campers circle on their calendars a few key August nights—the 11th, 12th and 13th. These are the dates of the annual Perseid meteor shower, which rarely fails to please those who see it.
This year they’re adding a note: “supermoon.”
During the second week of August, the biggest and brightest full Moon of the year will face off against everyone’s favorite meteor shower—and the outcome could be beautiful.
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