The Final Supermoon of 2023: A Spectacular Celestial Display
Stargazers across the UK are in for a treat as the final supermoon of 2023 graces the night sky. This extraordinary sight will offer a captivating display with its eerie light, appearing up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than a normal full moon. Known as the Harvest Moon, it is traditionally the full moon closest to the September Equinox.
Supermoons occur when the moon’s elliptical orbit brings it closest to Earth. The previous supermoons of 2023 have already delighted observers on July 3, August 3, and August 30. The upcoming supermoon will be on September 29, but it will appear full in the days surrounding that date.
To qualify as a supermoon, the moon must be full or nearly full when it is at its closest point to Earth, known as the perigee. On September 27, the perigee occurs, bringing the moon thousands of miles closer than usual. Two days later, on September 29, it will reach 100% fullness and be approximately 224,657 miles from Earth, which is 14,000 miles closer than its average distance.
For those eager to witness this celestial wonder, September 27 will offer a glimpse of the 97% full moon rising at 6.36 pm in the ESE direction. It will be visible until 5.17 am the following morning when it sets in the WSW part of the sky. On September 28, the moon will rise at 6.49 pm in the east and set at 6.49 am the following morning in the west. Finally, on September 29, the moon becomes a full supermoon, rising at 7 pm in the east and remaining visible until 8.19 am the next day.
What makes this supermoon particularly exciting is the presence of Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury nearby. Saturn can be spotted to the left, Jupiter to the right, and Mercury, though harder to find, will also be visible. To fully appreciate the moon and other celestial wonders, find a location with an unobscured view, away from the light pollution of cities.
Lastly, the weather will play a crucial role in the visibility of the supermoon. While Birmingham may experience cloudy and rainy conditions due to Storm Agnes, other areas in the UK might have more favorable weather for observing this phenomenon. It is recommended to check your local weather forecast for the best viewing conditions.
In conclusion, the final supermoon of 2023 promises to be a remarkable sight, illuminating the night sky with its enlarged and vibrant presence. Take advantage of this opportunity to witness the beauty of the Harvest Moon, along with the neighboring planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury.
– Supermoon: A full moon or new moon that occurs when the moon is at its closest point to Earth.
– Perigee: The point in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth.
– Harvest Moon: The full moon nearest the September Equinox.
– September Equinox: The moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator, occurring in September.
– Light pollution: The brightening of the night sky due to artificial light sources.
Source: No specific source provided.