Largest Supermoon event of the year observed in Baku

The second Supermoon event of the year will be observed in 2023, the Astrophysics Department of the Faculty of Physics at Baku State University (BSU) told APA.

The closest distance of the Moon to the Earth – at its perigee – occurred on August 30 at 19:52 local time in Baku, and on August 31, it transitioned to the Full Moon phase at 05:37. The time difference between these events was 9 hours and 45 minutes. The distance to the Moon at perigee was 357,181 km. Hence, the Supermoon observed on August 31, 2023, can be referred to as the biggest Supermoon of the year.

This event is considered one of the regular Supermoon occurrences. However, if the Full Moon phase happens twice in a month (the first Supermoon event occurred from August 1 to 2), the second Full Moon is referred to as a Blue Moon. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we will see a Blue Moon. The term “Blue Moon” originates from ancient times and is used conditionally. During volcanic eruptions, the moon can appear blue due to the dust particles ejected into the atmosphere. The second Supermoon event occurring in August coinciding with the second Full Moon phase of the same month is referred to as a Super Blue Moon.

The Moon doesn’t move around the Earth in a perfect circle; instead, it follows an elliptical orbit, causing its distance from Earth to constantly change. The closest point in its orbit is called perigee, and the farthest is apogee. However, due to the influence of the gravitational fields of the Sun and the planets, the perigee and apogee distances are not stable; they periodically change. The perigee distance can change from 356,420 km to 369,960 km, and the apogee distance can vary from 404,180 km to 406,740 km. The closest approach of the Moon to Earth in the last 100 years occurred on January 26, 1948, with a distance of 356,462 km. The next such closest approach will happen on November 25, 2034, with a distance of 356,447 km (around 734 km closer) to the Moon. In general, the closest approach of the Moon to Earth in the 21st century will occur on December 6, 2052. At that time, the distance to the Moon will be 356,424 km.

Supermoons do not impact human health and do not cause natural events like landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or tsunamis. They only result in slightly higher tides compared to regular Full Moons, causing a few centimeters of increased swelling. Super Full Moons appear slightly larger and brighter than ordinary Full Moons, encouraging people to learn about nighttime sky-watching and enhancing interest in astronomy.,

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