'Hunter’s supermoon' appears over Union County
A “hunter’s supermoon” could be seen Sunday night in the sky over Union County. Leaves on a sweet gum tree were silhouetted by the light of the moon when this picture was taken. The National Geographic website explained that on Sunday, Oct. 16, the October full moon made its closest approach to earth.
The website noted: “This month’s full moon is known in North America as the hunter’s moon. That’s because in other months, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day, while the October moon rises just 30 minutes later. That offers more light overall during a 24-hour day, which came in handy for traditional hunters.
“This year, the hunter’s moon is also a supermoon. Because its orbit around Earth is egg-shaped, there are times during the lunar cycle when the moon is at its shortest distance from Earth (called perigee) and times when the moon is at its farthest distance from Earth (called apogee). Perigee does not always happen during a full moon, and because the size of the moon’s orbit varies slightly, each month’s perigee is not always the same distance from Earth. When a full moon coincides with lunar perigee, it’s often dubbed a supermoon.
“This month, the moon’s closest point to Earth will occur at 8 p.m. ET on October 16, when the full moon will be just 222,365 miles from our planet. The average distance between our two worlds is 238,855 miles. The full moon on the 16th will appear 16 percent larger than average and nearly 30 percent larger than the year’s smallest full moon, which we saw back in April.
“And if you miss(ed) this month’s supermoon, don’t despair. The full moons of November and December will also be supermoons. Next month’s supermoon promises to be the most impressive, as it will be the largest full moon visible in our skies so far this century.”