Rubber Duck Counterpoint: The Super Moon is Super!

First some definitions.

Supermoon: When Full Moon and Perigee occur at the same time.

Full Moon: When the Moon is opposite the sun and lit 100%. Everyone knows that. It happens every 29.5 days. (Remember that number, it’s important.)

Perigee of the moon: This is when the moon is closest to earth as it swings around the earth (not in a circle) Moon perigee happens every 27.6 days. (Remember that number too.)

So full moon every 29.5 days and close moon every 27.6 days. Those two events go out of and into synch. When they both happen very close to each other like this weekend the moon is “super”.  Is it a big deal? I think it is. Compare these two full moons occuring at perigee and apogee (opposite of perigee or the futhest the moon gets from earth):

lunar-apogee-perigee-2010Can you see a difference? I think you can. One could argue that it isn’t that “super” since those numbers synch every 14 months but I like to define “super” as being out of the ordinary. And this weekend on Cape Ann when the sun sets and the full moon rises you have many additional items that make this moon super.

1) Full moon. 2) Perigee. 3) It’s summertime and you are not freezing your ass off looking a the moon. 4) You are on Cape Ann so a five minute drive and you are watching the moon rise at 7:34PM over the ocean tonight (8:32PM Sunday night).

But mother nature throws in one more variable. Clouds. Most likely it will be cloudy at moonrise both days. But if clears get your butt off that couch and go check out a super moon.

The one last thing that makes a Cape Ann Super Moon more super than every one else’s moon. You live on an island. That means another five minute drive and you can watch the super moon set in the morning right into the ocean. (5:21AM Sunday morning, 6:32AM Monday morning). If that isn’t super I don’t know what is. Add a fresh butternut crunch doughnut from Rockport’s Brothers Brew and that might make it super for you. (Opens 7AM.)


  • The super moon is nice, however, does that mean that “Super Werewolves” will be out tonight?


    • Nope, no super werewolves. In fact all the crap we have all read about emergency room being busy on the full moon, crazy things happening, crime going up at full moon has been proven to be complete and utter bullshit. It’s called anecdotal evidence (usually not true, hyped, exaggerated, double reported). About as true as a Mike Barnicle crime report (he made shit up all the time.)


  • Thanks for this excellent, concise info in your entertainly readable style. Hazy last night at moon-rise, but once the Supermoon rose above the haze it was worth the wait. John and I were waiting for it in Kayaks off Magnolia Beach. The whole family, having dried off, soaked in the moonlight of Shore Road. There’s just no place like home . . .


    • Super moon viewing from kayaks. I’m going to have to try that. Tomorrow morning I was going fishing kayaking and you have now talked me into staying out there until 6:32 AM for the supermoonriseset.


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