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Orange and red, rare, big… what is the “Super Harvest Moon” that will be observed this Thursday evening?

This is an event not to be missed by astronomy lovers. After a series of supermoons in the summer, the last of the year will light up the sky on Thursday night – the Super Harvest Moon.

As a reminder, we call a supermoon the Moon that passes closest to Earth when the two events are coordinated, according to NASA’s website: “A supermoon occurs when a full Moon coincides with the moment when the Moon closest to Earth is in its elliptical orbit, a point called perigee. »

The Earth’s natural satellite will reach perigee and is expected to be approximately 356,500 km from Earth, 20,000 km closer than usual. They may appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than normal, according to NASA. Scientists are not talking about a supermoon, but about a “syzygy perigee.”

Also called “Super Corn Moon”.

However, this difference in brightness and size may be difficult for the average observer to notice, as there have been four supermoons in a row since July, including two in August and the last one this month.

Also referred to as the “Super Corn Moon” by the indigenous peoples of Northeast America, it is known as the “Super Harvest Moon” because it typically occurs around harvest time, not too far from the autumn equinox. Its name dates back to the period before the “invention” of electricity, when farmers worked in their fields very late at night and had to rely on the light of the moon to illuminate them.

Next night’s orange and red Super Harvest Moon will be visible at sunset this Thursday from 7:30 pm and will light up the sky until 7:40 am Friday when it disappears. A spectacle that cannot be missed, risking waiting until August 2024 to observe the next “syzygotic perigee”, which will be the “Sturgeon Supermoon”.

Source: Le Parisien

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