APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

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APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon May 07, 2012 4:06 am

Image Supermoon Over Paris

Explanation: Did you see that full Moon Saturday night? Dubbed a supermoon, the latest fully illuminated moon appeared slightly larger than usual because it occurred unusually near the closest point in its orbit to Earth. Pictured above, the supermoon was captured Saturday night rising behind the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Of course, the angular extent of the moon in comparison to foreground objects can be adjusted just by changing the observer's distance to the foreground object. When compared to nearby objects the moon may appear tiny, but when compared to distant objects -- the moon may appear huge. Next month yet another full moon is expected, this one appearing about one percent smaller.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by Ann » Mon May 07, 2012 4:17 am

Congratulations, VegaStar! You have graced us with so many beautiful, artistic photos of the starry sky over Paris! :-D :clap: :-D :clap: :-D :clap: :-D

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon May 07, 2012 4:48 am

Got the 10" Meade GPS LX200 out tonight for the first time since last September, or so. First beautiful evening that was warm enough to be out comfortably....DANG!!!! ....Autostar hand controller wouldn't work, buttons just don't make good contact, tapped for a long while but no go....but I did see Crescent Venus in manual mode, just to do something....well...off to order a new controller.... :(

Nice Supermoon pic, but a tad fuzzy...

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon May 07, 2012 5:17 am

I guess any astronomical event that gets people looking at or photographing the sky is a good thing. But this whole "supermoon" thing is pretty lame (I'm not sure who came up with the idea). Visually, this Moon is about the same size as a handful of full Moons each year. And photographically, it is a non-event, since in an image there's absolutely nothing that distinguishes the angular size of the Moon. The only way to make this photographically significant would be to capture the Moon a couple of times during the year, with the same foreground.

(I'm not complaining about this image, just a little disappointed to see APOD jumping onto what I thought was a pretty silly bandwagon, largely treated in the popular press as some sort of rare and stunning phenomenon... when it was neither.)
Chris

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by ritwik » Mon May 07, 2012 9:00 am

Image

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by neufer » Mon May 07, 2012 10:02 am

Eyeful, a. Filling or satisfying the eye; visible; remarkable.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by JohnD » Mon May 07, 2012 10:32 am

Chris,
Glad to see you assuming the Bah! Humbug! role I usually have, in rubbishing the 'supermoon' idea!

My daily paper, the Uk Guardian, has a regular centrefold of striking pictures and today's are of the supermoon.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/ ... NTCMP=SRCH
So far, so very pretty, but the blurb quoted one Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society to say that a supermoon makes it 30% brighter and 14% larger.
Now Robert Massey is the "Deputy Executive Secretary (Media, Policy, Education & Outreach) and Press Officer" of that lustrious association. Surely he is talking nonsense? About the brightness at least, when other references say that the Moon never gets larger than 12% of its median apparent size.

The same unlikely statement is found on the NASA website: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/sc ... supermoon/

Values for apo/perigee that I can find show that the difference is about 12%.
http://www.jgiesen.de/planets/moon/Peri ... tance.html
So the aparent diameter will be 12% different, from apo- to perigee. Not 14%.
And the brightness; the square of 1.12 is 1.25, so some distance from 30% brighter.

Or are my elementary maths wrong?

John

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by owlice » Mon May 07, 2012 10:37 am

Meanwhile, others are glad to see this in the news. My ride to the subway this morning (the "not able to drive" thing is terribly old now :-x ) told me he'd gone out to try to see the supermoon (couldn't; too cloudy), this someone who doesn't have any particular interest in astronomy; he even remembered the date of last year's supermoon, which he did see.

Hurrah for the popular press -- and not just the popular press, but astronomy sites, too -- telling people (once again) that the moon looks bigger right now!
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by JohnD » Mon May 07, 2012 12:20 pm

But owlice; even if it had been clear, he would not have seen anything different - the 'supermoon' is indistinguishable by eye from any other.
And if he had happened to see it against a dark horizon, he would have said, "Oooooh! Isn't it big and bright!" because of the horizon effect, but that's a fallacy too.
They used to say that the Moon was made of green cheese, but even NASA didn't use an improvement in the economy by reducing cheese imports as an argument for the Apollo programme. Science should use truth, not lies, to enthuse its audience.

John

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by owlice » Mon May 07, 2012 12:36 pm

There is nothing untrue about today's APOD.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by neufer » Mon May 07, 2012 12:45 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
I guess any astronomical event that gets people looking at or photographing the sky is a good thing. But this whole "supermoon" thing is pretty lame (I'm not sure who came up with the idea). Visually, this Moon is about the same size as a handful of full Moons each year. And photographically, it is a non-event, since in an image there's absolutely nothing that distinguishes the angular size of the Moon. The only way to make this photographically significant would be to capture the Moon a couple of times during the year, with the same foreground.

(I'm not complaining about this image, just a little disappointed to see APOD jumping onto what I thought was a pretty silly bandwagon, largely treated in the popular press as some sort of rare and stunning phenomenon... when it was neither.)

Code: Select all

January	Wolf Moon
February  Snow Moon
March	  Worm Moon
April	  Pink Moon
May	    Flower Moon
June	   Strawberry Moon
July	   Buck Moon
August	 Sturgeon Moon
September Harvest Moon
October	Hunter's Moon
November  Beaver Moon
December  Cold Moon
Photographically, it is no more of a non-event than the various other APOD "special" full moons:
owlice wrote:
My ride to the subway this morning (the "not able to drive" thing is terribly old now :-x ) told me he'd gone out to try to see the supermoon (couldn't; too cloudy), this someone who doesn't have any particular interest in astronomy; he even remembered the date of last year's supermoon, which he did see. Hurrah for the popular press -- and not just the popular press, but astronomy sites, too -- telling people (once again) that the moon looks bigger right now!
http://birdcinema.com/view_video.php?vi ... fc6bd5f199
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by VegaStar » Mon May 07, 2012 12:49 pm

Many many Thanks Ann&to all the Team Starships :-))) it's an Honor to be able to post my Pictures on your Site, a Magnificent View of the Sky and the Beauty of the Universe ..

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by neufer » Mon May 07, 2012 1:01 pm

JohnD wrote:
Science should use truth, not lies, to enthuse its audience.
_______ The Doodle

Elaine: Did you read the whole thing?

Kramer: Oh! yeah.

Elaine: So What's it about?

Kramer: Well it's a story about love, deception, greed, lust and...unbridled enthusiasm.

Elaine: unbridled enthusiasm...?

Kramer: Well , that's what led to Billy Mumphrey's downfall.

Elaine: Oh! boy.

Kramer: You see Elaine, Billy was a simple country boy. You might say a cockeyed optimist,
. who got himself mixed up in the high stakes game of world diplomacy and international intrigue.

Elaine: Oh! my God.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enthusiasm wrote:
<<Enthusiasm originally meant inspiration or possession by a divine afflatus or by the presence of a god. Johnson's Dictionary, the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language, defines enthusiasm as "a vain belief of private REVElation; a vain confidence of divine favour or communication." An enthusiast was a person possessed by a god. Applied by the Greeks to manifestations of divine possession, by Apollo (as in the case of the Pythia), or by Dionysus (as in the case of the Bacchantes and Maenads), the term enthusiasm was also used in a transferred or figurative sense. Socrates taught that the inspiration of poets is a form of enthusiasm.

Its uses were confined to a belief in religious inspiration, or to intense religious fervour or emotion. Thus, a Syrian sect of the 4th century was known as the Enthusiasts. They believed that "by perpetual prayer, ascetic practices and contemplation, man could become inspired by the Holy Spirit, in spite of the ruling evil spirit, which the fall had given to him". From their belief in the efficacy of prayer, they were also known as Euchites. Several Protestant sects of the 16th and 17th centuries were called enthusiastic. During the years that immediately followed the Glorious Revolution, "enthusiasm" was a British pejorative term for advocacy of any political or religious cause in public. Such "enthusiasm" was seen in the time around 1700 as the cause of the previous century's English Civil War and its attendant atrocities, and thus it was an absolute social sin to remind others of the war by engaging in enthusiasm. The Royal Society bylaws stipulated that any person discussing religion or politics at a Society meeting was to be summarily ejected for being an "enthusiast." During the 18th century, popular Methodists such as John Wesley or George Whitefield were accused of blind enthusiasm (i.e. fanaticism), a charge against which they defended themselves by distinguishing fanaticism from "religion of the heart.">>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by JohnD » Mon May 07, 2012 3:21 pm

Thank you ,neufer!
Love that! Dr.Johnson knew his people -"No enthusiasm, please, we're British"

For example, at Waterloo, the Duke of Welington to his cavalry commnader Lord Uxbridge, who had been hit in the leg by grape shot.
"By God, sir, I've lost my leg!", to which Wellington replied "By God, sir, so you have!"
But better than that, the Nobel Lord later asked a friend to examine the amputated limb, in case the surgeons had been too hasty. His friend told him to, "set his mind quite at rest, as his leg, in my opinion, was better off than on."

Stiff upper lips all round!
JOhn

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by iann » Mon May 07, 2012 9:10 pm

Chris, although I agree with the sentiment you express, your calculations are not quite correct.

The difference over a very long period between the largest apogee and the smallest perigee is about 14.1%. However it is untrue to say that the May moon diameter was 14% larger than other moons in 2012 since the perigee was somewhat more distant than the extreme minimum and even the most distant full moon is not close to the most extreme possible apogee. Plus of course the majority of full moons this year are more like 6% smaller than the May moon, with the April and June moons barely 1% smaller. The typical variation between the smallest and largest moons in a single year is around 12%.

The brightness calculation using the most extreme size variations does come to just over 30%. However this obviously doesn't apply to the moons within any single year. It is worth noting that the 3% variation in distance from the sun becomes non-trivial in this calculation, potentially adding another 6%-7% variation in lunar brightness depending on the time of year when the full moon occurs. Compare this with the approximately 30% increase in brightness of every full moon for just a few minutes either side of opposition.

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon May 07, 2012 9:37 pm

iann wrote:Chris, although I agree with the sentiment you express, your calculations are not quite correct.
I didn't show any calculations...
Chris

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by iann » Mon May 07, 2012 10:15 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
iann wrote:Chris, although I agree with the sentiment you express, your calculations are not quite correct.
I didn't show any calculations...
You didn't have to, but if you'd given the right answers I would have been unable to tell whether your calculations were correct ... or wrong and you just got really lucky ;)

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by JohnD » Mon May 07, 2012 10:31 pm

iann,
where you mistaking my post for one of chris's?
If so I am in good company.
And thanks for your detailed correction.
John
PS Chris, shall we start an "APOD - Bah! Humbug!" chapter?

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by morrisroos » Tue May 08, 2012 4:00 am

The photo you chose for the day is very poor technically: the Eifel Tower is not in focus, nor is the moon. As a photographic example of the supermoon, this was a very poor choice.

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue May 08, 2012 4:58 am

morrisroos wrote:The photo you chose for the day is very poor technically: the Eifel Tower is not in focus, nor is the moon. As a photographic example of the supermoon, this was a very poor choice.
The focus is fine. The Moon appears to be very slightly obscured by high clouds (producing a corona), and both are distorted by the passage of light through a very long atmospheric path.
Chris

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Re: APOD: Supermoon Over Paris (2012 May 07)

Post by Astrobuff » Wed May 09, 2012 9:17 pm

"Next month yet another full moon is expected" - really !!