February 22, 2020

‘SUPERMOON’ fills up the Cayman skies

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If you thought the moon was looking bigger and brighter than usual this weekend, you were right.

Earth’s satellite is as close as it ever gets to us at the moment, making it look up to 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than when it’s at the far end of its oval orbit. This is because of a fluke of orbital timing, the full moon of May peaked late Saturday (5) just as the moon was passing its perigee, the closest point to Earth of its orbit.

NASA and other scientists nicknamed it ‘supermoon’. It made a spectacular subject for photos all over the world and also meant higher tides than usual, although only by a few inches.

Dr. Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society said: “When the moon is closest to the Earth and full or new, you get an increase in the tidal pull in the ocean because the gravity of the moon and the sun line up.”

At its closest on Saturday, the moon was 221,000 miles from Earth, compared to its more usual distance of 238,000 miles. The phenomenon was best seen when it was closest to the horizon, or had objects in front of it.

Supermoons have scared some people in the past, with folk tales blaming them for causing natural disasters or even turning people into werewolves.

But scientists insist there’s nothing to fear. So iNews Cayman’s General Manager, Colleen McGaw, fearlessly went outside and snapped this spectacular shot. She definitely deserves a bravery award, or something…..

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