CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A rare event happens on the very first day of 2014 a “Supermoon”.
The term “Supermoon” is kind of a made up term, as it really just means perigee moon. That means the moon is at it’s closest approach to the Earth within it’s orbit. We will have the first of two “supermoons” on January 1, with a second coming on January 30, 2014.
Richard Nolle, is credited with coining up with the term supermoon. He defines them as:
. . . a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth.
By this definition, a new moon or full moon has to come within 361,863 kilometers (224,851 miles) of our planet, as measured from the centers of the moon and Earth, in order to be a supermoon.
Now this moon won’t be seen because it’s a new moon.
You see, you can have a supermoon either when it’s full or new. In this case, in January 2014, both the “supermoons” will be new moons. Meaning you won’t see them but they still have impacts on the Earth.
Because the moon is so close, its gravitational pull will be greater. Thus making tides in the ocean run higher, or astronimal high tides as we call them.
They always have a similar effect on the atmosphere; full and new moons can make the the atmosphere thicker or thinner which can intensify areas of low and high pressure.
These won’t be the only two “supermoons” in 2014; we will have a total of five during the year. The two in January, then “super-full moons” in July, August and September.
The “super” full moon on August 10, 2014, will be the closest of the year at 221,765 miles away from the Earth.
Super Full Moon June 22, 2013 over Charlotte: