Fact and Fiction: What a Supermoon Really Means
The December 2016 supermoon will reach peak fullness at 7:05 p.m. EST (0005 GMT) on December 14.
Supermoons have been all the rage in the world of astrology, over the last few years. It seems you can’t go from one season to the next without a moon being super, or bringing magic powers, or doing something extraordinary. But is it all hype, or is there really something special about November’s supermoon?
Related Article: Make Your Moon Wishes Come True
What Is a Supermoon?
In order to really understand what’s going on, you first have to realize what a supermoon is. The moon’s orbit is elliptical, so it is closer to the Earth at some times than it is at others. The point at which the moon is closest to the Earth—less than 223,694 miles—is called its perigee. When the moon is either new or full when it’s at perigee, it becomes a supermoon.
Of course, even though November’s moon is going to be closer to to us than it has been since 1948, it’s not going to make any real difference to its gravitational pull on us, so don’t listen to anyone who predicts extreme weather or any other supernatural events because of this supermoon. It will just appear around 7% larger than it usually does, partly because of the distance and partly because of atmospherics.
You’ll hear some people talking about the moon being 15% bigger, but that’s slightly inaccurate, too. They’re also comparing it to a super micromoon, which happens when the full moon happens at the moon’s farthest distance from Earth (over 248,548 miles). You’re unlikely to notice any great contrast in the size of the moon—unless you’ve got previous lunar photographs to use in comparison. You may notice a difference in brightness, though—up to 30%, though 12-15% is more likely.
All of this will make it hard to judge any differences in size simply with the naked eye. What makes this supermoon a super supermoon is that it this is the closest the moon will be to our planet until the year 2034, being the largest and brightest for nearly 70 years. Interestingly enough, there’s also a meteor shower at that time, which means that while stargazers will have a treat seeing the super Supermoon, the chances of seeing the meteors will greatly diminish.
Supermoon Astrological Forecast
This astronomy about December’s supermoon is all well and good, but what will it mean for you? When the Aries moon reaches fullness at 1:51 pm GMT, it sets off a void of course (VoC) period that will last nearly 12 hours. You’ll be tempted to push forward, but don’t. The Aries full moon brings a lot of enthusiasm and a rise in emotions, but the VoC makes progress challenging. Try slowing down and contemplating your plans, instead. There will be time enough to push forward later during Taurus.
The VoC ends with the moon entering Gemini, heightening social activity, intellectual pursuits, and a flurry of activity. Make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin, or you won’t get anything accomplished. Gemini rules your arms and hands, so try to keep them busy, and don’t start fidgeting with the surplus of energy that this full moon could well bring your way. It’s an ideal time for brainstorming and planning, and going over ideas with others.
Try not to rush into any projects though; you could lose interest before they are completed if you start them now.
Avoid the ‘Supermoon’ Hype, and Enjoy the View!
However you choose to mark the occasion of this supermoon, just remember that there are going to be those who use it to create propaganda and hype in order to get attention.
- Yes, supermoons are closer to the Earth and may appear slightly bigger and brighter.
- No, you’re not going to feel anything particularly different.
If you already live with the rhythms of the moon, do your usual rituals. While this is indeed a very special moon, it’s unlikely that anything climactic is going to happen. If you miss this supermoon, there will be another one in December, although it won’t be a record-breaker like this one. Whatever you do, enjoy the rhythm of life and the opportunity for the striking astronomical displays that—weather permitting- December’s supermoon has to share with you.