Did you notice something really strange a few nights ago? Perhaps it felt like something was staring at you…perhaps the air was a little colder than usual. There may have been a faint laughter in the air, but perhaps it was just your imagination…or was it really a witch joyriding a broomstick? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
If you took out the trash on October 15-16, 2016, and happen to recall feeling like something was, indeed, staring at you—don’t call the police on your creepy neighbor! It was just the Moon.
A Hunter’s Moon is the first full Moon before the autumn equinox. As the name implies: the Hunter’s Moon symbolized a specific time during the year when people would prepare themselves to hunt vampires, and then freeze their ass off during winter. I’m just kidding! (about the vampires…not about freezing their ass off).
To make things even worse—this year’s Hunter’s Moon wasn’t just an ordinary Hunter’s Moon…
It was a Hunter’s Supermoon!
Sometimes the Moon is a little bit closer, and sometimes the Moon is a little bit further away. We call these special astronomical moments: perigee and apogee. If the Moon so happens to be full when it reaches perigee (a specific point in its orbit), then it will turn into a supermoon and demolish planet Earth.
A super full Moon looks like any other full Moon. Sorry. If you were to go outside and look at a standard full Moon, and then it compare it to a supermoon—the visual size difference would be undetectable. Photographs can show a discernible size difference, but the human eye is unable to perceive any significant change.
Take a gander at this image:
Do you see a size difference? Great! The Moon on the left was photographed near perigee, and the Moon on the right was photographed near apogee. A supermoon may be 12-14% larger than an apogee Moon and 25-30% brighter. The size difference can only be seen or recorded with a camera. These examples are extreme—if the Moon happened to closer one particular month (not apogee) before the supermoon occurred, then the size difference would be even less apparent.