Unholy Haleakalā!

I managed to miss an absolute gem over the weekend. A comic about the Supermoon — featuring a zombie Phil Plait!

For anyone who’s escaped hearing about it so far, the amusingly dubbed “supermoon” is an interesting little astronomical event. The Earth isn’t actually at the centre of the Moon’s orbit. As per Kepler’s Laws, the Moon’s orbit is elliptical. What this means is that the moon isn’t always at the same distance from Earth. Right now it’s at perigee, meaning it’s the closest it ever gets to Earth. When perigee coincides with a full moon, it means that the full moon appears about 15% larger in the sky, brighter than normal, giving you — Supermoon!

(clickthrough for the original from ScI-eNCe where you can also find the sequel)

The Supermoon itself was on Saturday, when the moon was full. Don’t worry though. If there’s a clear sky tonight, it’ll still be nice and big and bright. Amateur astronomers — telescopes at the ready!

NB: The supermoon does not actually possess any super powers, unless you count the amazing ability to hide behind a huge amount of cloud.

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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