The supermoon that failed to happen for many a Londoner this week might just rise after all, according to astronomer Brendan Owens.
Speaking to East London Lines, the Royal Observatory Greenwich stargazer gave hope to lunar enthusiasts by saying: “We have another supermoon on December 14th on the run-up to Christmas.”
The Astronomer confirmed the cloud was at fault for Monday’s obscured moon that left some Londoners disappointed: “Unfortunately the cloud cover made seeing the moon very difficult. The beautiful reflected sunlight that comes from the moon only hit the cloud tops unfortunately!”
The moon has now entered into a new phase, and is currently what Owens refers to as a “waning gibbous” moon. He says: “This means we start to see where light meets dark on the moon – a region called the terminator. This area looks impressive through binoculars or a telescope as you get a true sense of the terrain. This sort of view can be admired whether the Moon is near or far.”
Compared to the supermoon of Monday night, the moon is no longer a full moon and is now several thousands of kilometres further away from Earth – not much in astronomical terms. It will still be relatively large in the sky.
Owen stressed enthusiasts mustn’t “get too disheartened” if cloud ruins their moon gazing plans in the future, supermoon or otherwise.
“When the moon rises or sets it looks enormous in the sky thanks to something called the moon Illusion. Checking online for moonrise and set times means you can plan an observing trip to see the moon look spectacular outside of a supermoon event.”
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