Sun 20 Mar 2011
Driving back on Highway #2 a.k.a. the coastal road from Haifa to Tel Aviv at the sunset hours is almost always the opportunity for taking beautiful pictures of the sun setting in the sea. Yesterday was no exception. Here are the fish pounds of kibbutz Maagan Michael with the Mediterranean on the background.
As the night fell and we came near Herzlya another phenomenon drew our attention. The full moon seemed to be shining brighter than ever. Even for a full moon night (it was Purim’s eve) the moon was more visible in the sky than the city lights.
I entered the Internet when I got home and learned that this was no coincidence or just an impression. Actually what we had been witnessing a supermoon – which happens every few years when Moon and Earth are at minimal distance. The visual effect was enhanced by the full moon, which was last night 23% brighter than usual. This was the first supermoon in the last 18 years.
According to the Christian Science Monitor web page the moon was last night about 221,567 miles (356,577 kilometers) away from Earth. The average distance between the Earth and the moon is about 238.000 miles (382.900 km).
There is however practically no influence of this astronomical phenomenon to geological events happening on Earth. This includes no connection at all with the earthquake that devastated Japan last week and the tsunami that followed. It was just an opportunity for a few beautiful pictures.