Super Moon Set to Light Up the Sky January 30th
If you take some time to look at the sky this Thursday night, you can catch a somewhat rare, up close and personal view of a new moon known as a Super Moon.
Thursday night, January 30th, the moon will be its closest to the earth in its orbit, making it appear 14% larger than usual. It’s known as the moon’s perigee. This Thursday night’s perigee happens to coincide with a new moon, and it will appear very bright in the sky. Additionally, the fact that which gives this particular Super Moon the name ‘Black Moon’, according to EarthSky.org. This is the name commonly given to the second new moon in one month (the first was January 1st.)
Through history, it has been widely thought that a Super Moon can lead to a higher risk of catastrophic events, such as earthquakes and volcano eruptions, as well as odd behavior in people and animals. I also herd that some credit the Super Moon for the sinking of ships. But don’t worry. While the moon’s closeness to Earth will have a slightly increased effect on the tides, there is no hard evidence linking a Super Moon to any other natural disasters or ships sinking in the Atlantic.
There is a great place in west Texas to view the Super Moon. Fort Griffin State Historical Site, about 15 miles north of Albany on Highway 283. It is one of the three best public “dark areas” in Texas, meaning the light illuminating from the earth is minimal, making the sky easier to view. The forecast is calling for clear skies Thursday night, so you should be able to view the Super Moon pretty well with the naked eye, even if you don’t make it to a remote location.
If you don’t have the chance to go check out the Super Moon this Thursday, don’t worry. There will be more in 2014, including the August 10th moon, which will be a full moon and at its closest point to the earth, all in one night. This combination will make the moon appear its biggest and brightest since May 2012.