If you’re wondering about the mechanics behind why the Moon looked bigger than usual lasts night, or what that has to do with a lunar eclipse”
The moon we saw last night, was a super moon,” but it’s actually a pretty simple optical illusion. As you can see in the animation, the Moon will be at perigee, the part of its orbit that brings it closest to Earth, tonight. We usually just say that the Moon is about 238,000 miles away, that’s an average; the distance varies depending on where the Moon is in its orbit. At apogee (the most distant point of its orbit), the Moon is actually 251,968 miles from Earth, but at perigee, it’s just 225,804 miles away. Because the Moon is close, it will look about 14% bigger than usual.
Of course, tonight’s supermoon happens to coincide with a total lunar eclipse. Earth will pass between the Moon and the Sun, casting a reddish shadow over the Moon’s surface. That’s a combination that happens just once every couple of decades. The second half of NASA’s animation is a cute look at how life on Earth has changed from one supermoon eclipse to the next, and how we might look in 2033, when the next one happens.
Nasa is about to make a HUGE announcement about Mars
It’s sparked all kinds of speculation after sending out a press release saying there’s been ‘a major scientific finding’.Mars mystery solved? Find out Monday at 11:30am ET at a live briefing on NASA TV: http://go.nasa.gov/1iR2VZU Q? #askNASA
Most of the speculation is along the lines of: ‘It’s aliens, right?’ Although many suspect they have found flowing water.
It’s going to be announced at 4.30pm UK time, and speakers at a press conference will include Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA headquarters, and Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA.