Is the Supermoon Tonight THAT Big of a Deal?

If you’ve been on the internet this week you’ve either seen weeping and gnashing of teeth about the US Presidential Election or news about CRAZY EPIC SUPERMOON THAT WON’T BE AS MOON FOR THE NEXT INFINITY THREEVEBILLION YEARS.

While I generally don’t get too crazily hyped about anything described with that many capital letters, all of the supermoon news has been a nice distraction from all of the election news so I decided to research it a little further.

dallas-eclipsed-1

So the picture above was a lunar eclipse from last year, slightly different than what’s going to happen tonight.  Tonight is a supermoon, which is really just a Buzzfeed word for when the moon will be at its closest point relative to Earth.  Tonight’s supermoon coincides with a full moon which means the moon will appear hella bright and MEGA HUGE OMGzORS.  Ok not really, the moon will appear between 8-10% larger than it normally does.  All of those pictures you see where the moon takes up like 9/10 of the sky have been photoshopped like whoa.  I’m not opposed to Photoshop, but still.  And the people who are saying the moon won’t be this big again are technically correct, the next supermoon like this will be in 2038.

Here are some things to bear in mind for supermooning tonight.  That assumes that “supermooning” for you means you’re interested in the supermoon that’s taking place, not that you want to moon people (i.e. show them your butt) better than you ever have before.

  • Moonrise will begin EARLY, in Dallas it begins at 6:02pm, for example
  • The moon will appear pretty large near the horizon at moonrise, due to an optical illusion that scientists travel bloggers call the MoonBigOpticalIllusionHorizon Effect
  • If you want to bust out all your photography gear, bear in mind that the moon actually moves through the sky pretty dang quickly this time of the year and it will be SUPER bright, so be careful when looking through optical viewfinders, you can seriously damage your eyeballs
  • At least in Texas the moon will technically be the biggest around 4-5am Monday morning and skies should be pretty clear, but odds are you’ll be asleep, so for the best shooting experience try to aim for moonrise tonight or tomorrow night

If you want to see where the moon will rise relative to you, check out The Photographers Ephemeris, one of my favorite apps.  You can find your photo spot on a map and it will show you the line on which the moon will rise.  It’s the precise app I used to find my spot for moonrise tonight.

So is it worth shooting the Supermoon tonight?

From an astrophysics standpoint probably not.  But if you’re trying to make a name for yourself in the photography world the Supermoon has captured the public’s attention so you never know just who might be looking for some awesome supermoon pictures, so go out and shoot it, maybe I’ll see you out there!

[For a list of the gear I’ll be using, check out my gear post and my updated camera recommendations page here.]

Where will you be shooting the Supermoon from tonight?  What questions can I help you with?

 

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  1. Picture of the Week: The Supermoon Rises over Dallas – Grab a Mile - […] Thanks to my very good friend Andy,  I was able to find the right spot to shoot the rise…

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