The Biggest Moon in 2013
03 June 2013



A spacecraft image of the Moon
Credit: GSFC-NASA
 

On 23 June 2013, the Moon will be at its closest point to Earth in all of 2013, at a distance of approximately 357,000 km. It will also be Full Moon. This means that the apparent size of the Full Moon of 23 June will be the biggest in 2013, about 15% larger than a regular Full Moon. During the Full Moon, the Moon is located opposite to the Sun in the sky, therefore, it rises around the time of sunset, and remains visible throughout the night.

As the Moon orbits Earth in an elliptical orbit, its distance from Earth varies between approximately 366,000 km and 405,500 km, with a mean distance of 384,000 km or about 60 times the terrestrial radius. Along the lunar orbit, the point at which the Moon is closest to Earth is known as the perigee, while the point at which the Moon is farthest from Earth is called the apogee. Interestingly, when the Full Moon occurs at, or near perigee, it is called supermoon. 

Tides occur due to the combined gravitational influence of the Moon and the Sun. The New Moon and the Full Moon bring slightly higher tides, since at these phases, Earth, the Moon and the Sun are nearly aligned. The tides that are associated with a supermoon or a particularly close New Moon are higher than normal.

The lunar phases that will occur in June 2013 are the New Moon, on 8 June, at 15:56 UT (17:56 Cairo local time), the First Quarter, on 16 June, at 17:24 UT, the Full Moon, on 23 June, at 11:32 UT, and the Last Quarter, on 30 June, at 4:53 UT.


References

NASA
www.nasa.gov/
Earth Sky Website
Encyclopedia Britannica
Wikipedia
 

Aymen Mohamed Ibrahem
Senior Astronomy Specialist 
 

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