Sunday, March 20, 2011

March Equinox 2011--A Supermoon Bonus!

A NASA image of the perigee moon of March 19, 2011 over Washington D.C. near the Lincoln Memorial.

*Much to my surprise, when doing my Happy Easter! post, I realized that I had some how completed but not published this post for the March Equinox this year. So here it is, better late than never, and at its originally scheduled time.

Supermoon-March 19, 2011


This year's March Equinox-the Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere, and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere-is accompanied by a supermoon, a full moon occurring at the time that the moon in its elliptical orbit around the earth is also closest to the earth. A once in 18 years event, the timing of the full moon this year is only 1 hour short of the exact time when the moon will be closest to earth (220,000 miles/ 354,000km vs farthest 254,000 miles/ 410,000 km over the course of the monthly orbit)--a near perfect coincidence over the night of March 19. The scientific name for this phenomenon is "perigee" (for closest in orbit) combined with "syzygy" (full or new moon): "perigee-syzygy". Mythologies that the full moon, or the supermoon, causes natural disasters, including this year's tsunami in Japan, have no scientific basis.

Supermoon over Spokane, Washington, USA, March 19, 2011

I have re-ordered the following 15 images compiled by The Straits Times (Singapore) from east to west around the globe (location and photo credit visible by placing cursor on photo):
















March Equinox-March 20, 2011

March 20, 2011 is the day this year on which the sun's tilt away from or toward (depending on the hemisphere) the earth creates a day of almost equal (aequus) night (nox) and day. In the northern hemisphere this March equinox announces the arrival of spring; in the southern hemisphere, it announces the beginning of the fall.




Related Post:
The Vernal Equinox: Springtime in Saudi and the Equinoctial Day and Night that Join Us All (a full accounting of the Vernal Equinox with multiple pictures)

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