Title: The Bib Theorists: Supermoon Marks Final Lunar Spectacle of 2023
CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter continues to captivate readers with its insightful coverage of groundbreaking scientific discoveries and celestial events that unravel the mysteries of our universe. In its latest edition, the newsletter highlights the awe-inspiring phenomenon of the supermoon, which illuminated the early morning hours on September 29, marking the fourth and final supermoon of 2023.
The supermoon, a term coined for a full moon that appears closer to Earth than usual, offered a breathtaking spectacle, adorning the night sky with its larger and brighter presence. This lunar event was anticipated to be approximately 5% bigger and 13% brighter than an average full moon, truly enhancing its beauty and allure.
Astronomers define a supermoon as occurring when the moon is within 90% of perigee, its closest approach to Earth. The harvest moon, as it is often referred to, is so named because it coincides with the arrival of fall in the Northern Hemisphere, when many crops reach their peak.
Indigenous tribes hold unique names for the full moon in September, such as the corn maker moon, the moon of the brown leaves, and the autumn moon, symbolizing their cultural connections to the changing seasons. This celestial event is not only celebrated by indigenous communities but also finds a place in various traditions such as the Korean festival of Chuseok and the Japanese Buddhist holiday of Higan.
The mesmerizing orange hue exhibited by the harvest moon owes its charm to the increased thickness of Earth’s atmosphere near the horizon. As celestial enthusiasts basked in the brilliance of the supermoon, they were also treated to the sight of several planets adorning the night sky, including Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury, creating a truly enchanting celestial spectacle.
Looking ahead, the remaining months of 2023 promise a lineup of celestial events that will continue to astound. In October, sky gazers can eagerly anticipate the Hunter’s moon, followed by the Beaver moon in November, and the Cold moon in December. Additionally, on October 14, parts of the Americas will witness an annular solar eclipse, while on October 28, parts of Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and South Africa can witness a partial lunar eclipse.
Moreover, avid stargazers can mark their calendars for several meteor showers slated to occur later this year. The Draconids, Orionids, Southern Taurids, Northern Taurids, Leonids, Geminids, and Ursids will add to the celestial splendor and offer skywatchers the chance to witness the fiery streaks that light up our night sky.
With these upcoming celestial marvels, 2023 continues to be a year that enthralls and inspires us to gaze at the heavens in wonder. Stay tuned to CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter and The Bib Theorists for further coverage of the mysteries that unfold within our universe.