A SUPERMOON is a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit. Thus in order to be a Super Moon, the Moon must come within 361,863 kilometers (224,851 miles) of our planet, as measured from the centers of the moon and Earth.
What did astronomers call these moons before we called them supermoons? They called them a perigee full moon, or a perigee new moon.
Perigee just means “near Earth.” The moon is full, or opposite Earth from the sun, once each month. It’s new, or more or less between the Earth and sun, once each month. And, every month, as the moon orbits Earth, it comes closest to Earth. That point is called perigee. The moon always swings farthest away once each month; that point is called apogee.
Super Moons of 2015
Based on the above definition, 2015 will have six supermoons: the new moons of January, February and March, and the full moons of July, August and September.
New Moon Super Moon: 20 January 2015 – 11:14 pm AEST
New Moon Super Moon: 19 February 2015 – 9:47 am AEST
New Moon Super Moon: 20 March 2015 – 7:36 pm AEST
Full Moon Super Moon: 31 July 2015 – 8:43 pm AEST
Full Moon Super Moon: 30 August 2015 – 4:36 am AEST
Full Moon Super Moon: 28 September 2015 -12:51 pm AEST
It is interesting to note that in 2014 we had 2 supermoons in one month, but we will not experience this again until 2018 !
According to EarthSky.org, the full moon on 28 September 2015 presents the closest supermoon of the year (356,877 kilometers or 221,753 miles). However, the new moon on February 18/19 isn’t far behind, featuring the year’s second-closest. At a distance of 357,098 kilometers or 221,890 miles, the new supermoon on February 18/19 lies only about 200 kilometers farther away than the September 28 full supermoon.
Effect of Super Moons – Physical
Referring to the image on the right, around each new moon (moon is on left in image) and full moon (moon in on the right in image) – when the sun, Earth, and moon are located more or less on a line in space – the range between high and low tides is greatest. These are referred to as Spring Tides (Image: www.physicalgeography.net)
Will the tides be higher during the supermoons ? Yes, all new moons (and full moons) combine with the sun to create larger-than-usual tides, but perigee new moons (or perigee full moons) elevate the tides even more. Each month, on the day of the new moon, the Earth, moon and sun are aligned, with the moon in between. This line-up creates wide-ranging tides, known as spring tides. High spring tides climb up especially high, and on the same day low tides plunge especially low.
Will these high tides cause flooding? Probably not, unless a strong weather system accompanies the perigean spring tide. Still, keep an eye on the weather, because storms do have a large potential to accentuate perigean spring tides.
Effect of Super Moons – Energetic
Whilst Super Moons have been shown to affect the tides above, just like the Earth’s Surface humans are also made up of over 70% water.. hence Super Moons after ‘amplify’ our energy fields. Based on the Super Moons alignments with other planets, constellations & energetic bodies within our cosmos.. as well as the Super Moons position within our own Astrological Charts, Super Moons affect each individual differently. But what can be said is that Super Moons are amplifiers of our energy fields and awaken higher potentials of the current planetary alignments that they are associated with.
What does this all mean ? Energy runs high during a Super Moon… you may feel more emotional, electric, experience sleep disturbances or have expressive dreams. The best way to balance with the energy is to Earth yourself by walking bare foot on the ground, swimming in a lake or the ocean or connecting your body somehow with nature.
Closest full supermoons in the year’s ahead
More often than not, the one day of the year that the full moon and perigee align also brings about the year’s closest perigee (also called proxigee). Because the moon has recurring cycles, we can count on the full moon and perigee to come in concert in periods of about one year, one month and 18 days. Therefore, the full moon and perigee realign in periods of about one year and 48 days. So we can figure the dates of the closest full moons in recent and future years as:
March 19, 2011
May 6, 2012
June 23, 2013
August 10, 2014
September 28, 2015
November 14, 2016
January 2, 2018.
There won’t be a perigee full moon in 2017 because the full moon and perigee won’t realign again (after November 14, 2016) until January 2, 2018. By the way, some astronomers will call all the full moons listed above proxigee full moons. But, like you, we’ll have fun just calling ‘em Super Moons.
A micro moon is the name given to a Full Moon that occurs when the moon is farthest from the Earth.
One fortnight (approximately two weeks) after the year’s nearest new moon on 18/19 February, it’ll be the year’s farthest and smallest full moon on 5/6 March, 2015, referred to as a Micro Moon.