Super Moon! May 5, 2012 Photos – View from San Diego, California

Photo 3 of Super Moon taken on May 5, 2012 from San Diego / Escondido, California
Super Moon taken on May 5, 2012 from San Diego / Escondido, California


So probably many of you have heard tonight May 5, 2012) is the night when the moon should appear larger and brighter than it normally is. I can definitely see that it is indeed brighter. But seeing the moon to be larger would not be that easy to notice. According to the smart science people (you know astronomers, NASA people, Wikipedia updaters and stuff in news results), the moon will appear 14% larger. C’mon, would you even notice that?

Supermoon May 5, 2012 - The moon is 14% bigger, but can you really notice 14%?
Supermoon May 5, 2012 - The moon is 14% bigger, but can you really notice 14%?

For those that already took a look outside, did you noticed any difference in the appearance of the moon? Were you disappointed if the supermoon didn’t look as super at all? If you look at the image above, 14% increase may be hard to notice in a circle. Read on to find out which one of the circles is larger.

Perigee Moon – What’s it all about?

The super moon is a natural occurrence. Like many other celestial bodies that has an orbit, the orbit is really elliptical, and any ellipse has a major radius and a minor radius where the minor radius has the shorter distance. When the moon is at it’s shortest radius (minor radius) and is closest to the Earth, this is when you observe the Perigee Moon. And when it is at it’s farthest, the major radius of it’s orbit, this is when you observe the Apogee Moon. If your teachers in school told you the moon is 357,000 kilometers away or 222,000 miles away from the earth, that is actually an average value, not an exact value.

Does the Supermoon occur everyday if the moon goes around the earth all the time?

Actually one more requirement for the so called “Supermoon,” aside from being at it’s perigee position, it should also be a full moon. So this coincidence does not happen all the time every night.

So this year’s super moon was on May 5, or in some other places, it’s May 6, depending on your time zone reference. If you missed the super moon event and wants to see it (if you can notice the 14% difference from any other full moon), there are three more days to look out for:

  • June 4, 2012
  • November 13, 2012
  • December 13, 2012

The supermoon usually occurs 4 to 6 times a year. If you want a full future schedule up to December 1, 2100, check out AstroPro’s dates listed by Richard Nolle.

Does something weird happen during the Supermoon?

Nothing more than the obvious. Since it is a full moon, all things that happen during full moon also happen. Like warewolves turn into their wolf form and vampires into… hmmm I’m not sure if it’s their vampire form or bat form. *LOL*

But seriously, this has been tied to various superstitious beliefs and nothing really concrete except changes in the tides. When the moon is closest to earth, the gravitational pull it at it’s greatest. The effect on the tides causes a higher difference between low tide and high tide.

That’s about as strange as it can get, some paranoid speculators, superstitious religious, conspiracy theorist may have other ideas that I am not aware of. Maybe you know some crazy events tied to this, I want to hear your comments below!

Photos of the May 5 Super Moon from San Diego

I am not the professional photographer, with real high-tech equipment, I have no telescope, nor super zoom lens. I just have the standard stock lens with my Nikon D50. And below are the three shots I took with my amateur photography skills. I didn’t even have a tripod and was just placing my camera on whatever place I can use and using the timer to avoid any movement from clicking. As for settings… I am not the best at that. I am so used to auto-setting, auto-focus. For these I set the dial either on “P” or the Landscape option. And some were auto-focus, some I did manual focus. The moon still looks over exposed, so bright like a light bulb and has no moon details.

Supermoon photo 1 - May 5, 2012 Lunar Perigee view from San Diego
Supermoon - May 5, 2012 Lunar Perigee view from San Diego


Moon Perigee Picture 2 with trees in the way. But you can see how bright the sky is.
Moon Perigee with trees in the way. But you can see how bright the sky is.


Sorry about the trees, I didn’t have a better view. The moon still looked like the moon on any other day, but yes it was bright. So bright most stars were not visible.  And today also supposed to be a day when you can see the Aquarid Meteor Shower. Good luck with that. I was not hard core enough to stay up all night looking for Aquarid meteors.

So for the 2 circles in the first image above, which one is the bigger circle? It’s the right one. It’s 14% bigger.

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