Photo courtesy of Jayce Pearson
This week there was a Supermoon up at night. If you have never heard of the Supermoon it is a name for the time that the Moon is at its closest point in its orbit around the Earth and at the same time a full moon. The press will sometimes say that the Moon will appear much larger than normal and brighter. In reality the Moon isnt really much bigger in the night sky than what you would usually see. The Moon does look very bright but the size does not change a significant amount.
The Supermoon is often mistaken as the moment when the Moon is rising and is low near the horizon and looks very large and red to the naked eye. This effect is actually something completely different and happens anytime you have the moon low and you are looking at it only with your naked eye. This effect is sometimes called the Moon Illusion and is actually a trick that the human mind makes on its own and is not completely known why. The color of the Moon is actually that reddish color when its low because it is going through alot more atmosphere which filters out some of the colors from the light and makes the moon appear that reddish color but the size is the illusion. One way to show this is to take a picture of the moon when it looks that large and when you look at the photo you will be disappointed because it will not appear that large in the photo.