November 14 is usually remembered as Children’s Day. This year on this day, there is an exciting astronomical spectacle called ‘Supermoon’. On November 14, 2016 the Moon will pass by Earth at a distance of 356,509 km. This is known as lunar perigee and a normal lunar perigee averaging a distance of 356,509 kilometers happens once every orbital period. This event can be referred as ‘Supermoon’. A new or full Moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90%) its closest approach to Earth (perigee) in a given orbit. In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth.
In fact, May 6, 2012 presented the moon’s closest encounter with Earth since March 19, 2011, at which time the moon was a scant 380 kilometers closer to Earth. Looking further into the future, the perigee full moon on November 14, 2016 (356,509 km) will be even be closer than the one on March 19, 2011 (356,575 km). The perigee full moon will come closer than 356,500 kilometers for the first time in the 21st century on November 25, 2034 (356,446 km). The closest moon of the 21st century will fall on December 6, 2052 (356,421 km).
The Supermoon occurred in 1955, 1974, 1992, 2005 and 2011 were amazing.
So, on November 14 2016, everyone be curious to witness this exiting astronomical spectacle and spread the grandeur and essence of Astronomy.
-By Prof S A Mohan Krishna