Zooming around with Zoe: Supermoons of 2021

Zooming Around With Zoe

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — There have been some pretty cool shows in the sky so far this year, from the solar eclipse in early June to meteor showers to three super moons already.

Let’s zoom to this June’s full Strawberry Supermoon.

The first super moon this year took place in April, called the pink moon. Then there was May’s flower moon, and now June’s Strawberry moon. This may seem strange, but according to NASA, super moons normally occur 3-4 times a year, and always appear consecutively. This is because of the moon’s rotation normally only overlapping at the closest point to the sun for 2-4 months at a time.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with its closest approach to Earth in its elliptical orbit, also known as a perigree. Its furthest approach to Earth is known as an apogee. “Supermoon” isn’t the official scientific term, but typically describes a new or full moon that comes within 90% of this perigree.

At its closest point, the full moon appears about 17% bigger and 30 percent brighter than the faintest moon of the year, which occurs when it’s farthest from Earth in its orbit. Even though 17% doesn’t make a big difference in detectable size, a full supermoon is a bit brighter than other moons throughout the year.

It might be hard to detect a supermoon visually, but it does have an effect on Earth, causing higher than usual tides.

I hope you had a chance to see June’s Strawberry moon on Thursday, because it will be the last one of the year. If not, just wait until next year, when again we will have three consecutive supermoons in June, July, and August.

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