‘Mini’ Be Full

March 5, 2015

apollomoonClear and cold once again this early Thursday on California’s north coast — another day in the life.
Supposed to be about the same through the weekend, though, apparently the rain expected has edged closer, forecast-wise, set now for maybe on Wednesday.
And a rarity this morning, the NWS didn’t post any watches, warnings or advisories for this little region along the coast, which is okay by me.

Along with the clear comes a full moon in the works. Tonight the moon is expected to peak 100-percent, though, early last evening as it rose slowly from the east, the clarity, and bright-size were awesome.

Looks be deceiving — actually a ‘mini moon.’

(Illustration: ‘Apollo Moon,’ from the Alan Bean Gallery, found here).

In this particular cycle, the moon has rocketed to its farthest point away from earth, causing in return, the dinkiest one of the year.
This morning, from Southern California Public Radio:

It’s been dubbed the “mini moon,” by astronomers at the Griffith Observatory.
Mini moons are the opposite of the much-hyped supermoons, when our celestial companion appears brighter and larger than normal.

Griffith Observatory Director Ed Krupp said that got him thinking: “Wait a minute, the moon isn’t just biggest at some point in the year… it’s also smallest.”

According to Michelle Thaller with NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center, supermoons and mini moons can have an effect on the world’s oceans.
Tides during a sueprmoon could be about one inch higher and lower than normal due to a slightly increased gravitational pull, she pointed out.
Likewise, you can expect slightly less tidal effect during a mini moon.

My eyesight appeared normal last night, viewing the moon as if in a full state of brilliance:

When the moon is furthest away it appears about 8 percent smaller in the sky than an average full moon.
It will also be about 15 percent less luminous.
Don’t expect to notice the difference on your evening walk though, said Griffith Observatory’s Krupp.
He explained that the unaided probably can’t see the difference between a mini moon and a more common moon.

Or, just a standard, old moon, unaided.

Scientific details at AstronomyNow.

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