Supermoon May 6, 2012

Image of the May 6, 2012 Supermoon taken with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a DSLR camera at ISO 400, 1/395 second exposure. Click on the photo for a full-resolution image. Photo credit: Anthony Urbano

Supermoon is a term that describes a full moon occurring at a time when the moon is at its closest distance from Earth. The full moon of May 6, 2012 is the largest full moon of the year. Image taken with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a DSLR camera at ISO 400, 1/395 second exposure. Photo credit: Anthony Urbano

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Super Moon on May 5 to 6, 2011

Shown above is an image of last year’s Supermoon taken through afocal method with a 6-in reflector and a mobile phone camera. Photo Credit: Cristina Flores

This month’s full moon is the largest full moon of the year! :)

What Time to Observe

There is much confusion on the Internet as to what time this “Super Moon” thing would occur. According to a lunar calculator from the NASA website, the “Full Moon” should occur on May 6, 3:36 am Universal Time, this Sunday. In local time (Philippines), there would be an additional 8 hours due to the differences in time zones, thus, in the Philippines, the precise moment will occur at “2012 May 6 3:36 UT” + “8 hours” = 11:36 am May 6 (near noontime). Unfortunately, 11:30 am is a daytime here in the Philippines, thus, the moon will not be visible. To be able to observe it, either you observe tonight, just a few hours before sunrise, or later tomorrow, a few hours right after sunset.

To calculate for your local time, just add or subtract the correct time difference. In the given example, I used +8. Just substitute it and do the math :) Hope it answers some of the confusion.

Full Moon March 8, 2012

March 8, 2012 full moon taken with a 4-in f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR, ISO 800, 1/2500 sec exposure. Photo credit: Anthony Urbano

The moon presents a wealth of details visible even with the modest of equipment. The features visible in this photo typically represents the details that may be resolved even with small-aperture telescopes.  More lunar images here.