"Super moon" misconceptions

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding regarding the "super moon" event that took place on 5/6 May. A "super moon" is a non-technical term for when the elliptical orbit of the Moon brings it closest to the Earth - astronomers call that position the perigee.

However, the resultant change in size is not enough to produce much of a visually discernible difference. The awesome looking photos being spread on Facebook, news sites and elsewhere, where the Moon appears several times larger, are the result of common depth-of-field photographic techniques and/or post-editing. Also, it may help to keep in mind that the Moon appears larger when near the horizon thanks to an illusion called the "Moon illusion".

Full Moons are beautiful though :-)


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