In terms of rarity, the last time the moon was this close was about the same time Letterman made his jump from NBC to CBS (1993). Additionally, Jerry Seinfeld didn’t want to be a pirate and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was getting into “one little fight”. Like these classic comedies, the Supermoon has been in syndication every 20 years or so. In fact, the Supermoon has come in for an extremely closer look about 15 times in the last 400 years. While the event is rare, in 2003 Mars made a very close pass that hasn’t been “observed” in nearly 60,000 years!
For centuries the moon has been our closest friend and come this weekend we’ll show our gratitude by giving it a super hug. Visually, the moon will look about 12-14% larger this Friday and the best time to view the moon will be right after sunset as it rises in the east. Now that I think about it, being able to distinguish that the moon looks 13% bigger tonight than any other night will be rather difficult. Nonetheless, an optical illusion when the moon is near the horizon and the added proximity will help to make for a super view.
Tidal Influence: Living on the East Coast we are all fully aware of the tides and their influence on our lives. Accordingly, the distance between the moon and our coast has an influence on the strength of these tides. Below is one example that will show how the Supermoon will be affecting this weekend’s tides.
Oregon Inlet Bridge:
Friday High- 7:34 pm @ 2.44 ft.
Friday Low- 1:42 am @ -.01 ft.
Sunday High- 9:11 pm @ 2.71 ft.
Sunday Low- 3:35 am @ -.02 ft
When scanning through this year’s tidal data, this weekend’s tides will certainly be stronger/higher, but starting in August, a couple high tide cycles will be pushing the 3.0 foot mark. Interestingly, last year in the same month these numbers were down by almost half a foot. Thus, the effects of the Supermoon are there, but certainly not to the extent of creating an unmanageable tidal situation.