• Sun. Oct 17th, 2021

Supermoon of May, when and how to see it

Byeditorial

May 24, 2021

The appointment with the superluna is for Wednesday 26 May. The full moon occurs near the closest point to Earth along the lunar orbit, making our natural satellite appear slightly larger and brighter than usual. On the occasion of this supermoon, the National Institute of Astrophysics invites the public to follow the first of a new series of direct observations in connection from various INAF offices throughout the country, to admire the Moon through a telescope together with researchers who study it. the scientific mysteries still open. It will be possible to follow the live broadcast starting at 9:30 pm on Wednesday 26 May on the YouTube channel of EduInaf, the educational and dissemination magazine of INAF. The Moon Companion of the Earth for billions of years, the Moon is a peculiar and almost unique satellite in the panorama of the solar system, with a significant mass (1.2%) compared to that of the planet around which it orbits. Its presence has important effects on the Earth: it contributes to stabilize the inclination of the Earth’s axis, which would influence the very presence of life on our planet. Without forgetting the show offered monthly by the Moon in the sky, which has inspired scientists, thinkers, artists and dreamers everywhere over the millennia.The Moon is the only celestial body to date physically reached and visited by humans, yet it is not very close. The light takes about a second to cover the distance between the two bodies, between which 30 earths could comfortably be placed. This separation varies slightly each month. The lunar orbit is not perfectly circular but slightly elliptical, and so the Earth-Moon distance oscillates between 356,400 km at the perigee – the closest point to the Earth – and 406,700 km at the apogee – the farthest point. When the Moon is in the full moon phase near its passage to the perigee, it is commonly referred to as a supermoon, explains the National Institute of Astrophysics, since the lunar disk appears larger, up to 14% more, with a brightness up to 30% greater than the same configuration, but at the apogee. A total eclipse of the Moon will also take place on May 26, visible from Oceania and parts of America and Asia. This eclipse will not be visible from Italy.

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