Earlier this month, we experienced a Full Moon in Aries on October 15 and 16, depending on where you were at that time, that appeared slightly different than your average Full Moon. Many referred to it as a “Super Moon” because the Moon came closer to Earth than it usually does.
Lucky for us, more of these Super Moons are on the horizon (literally). In fact, 2016 will end with two more Super Moons, each one differing from the other. The next Super Moon will take place on November 14, which many are calling an “Extra Super Moon,” and for good reason!
What Is a Super Moon?
The term “Super Moon” was coined in more recent years and was inspired by the astronomy term “Perigee Full Moon.” The word ‘perigee‘ is defined as the Moon’s closest point to the Earth. What was believed at the time to be the world’s closest and largest Full Moon occurred on March 19, 2011, which is when the term Super Moon gained popularity.
Although it was originally used to describe a New Moon or a Full Moon that fell within 90% of its closest proximity to Earth in a given orbit, Super Moon is now used more broadly to identify when a Full Moon is closer to Earth than normal.
The Moon’s orbit is elliptical, meaning its shape is more ovular than circular. As a result, the perigee side of it is approximately 30,000 miles closer to Earth than the opposite side. The scientific term “syzygy” refers to when the Earth, Sun, and Moon line up as the Moon orbits the Earth. If you can imagine, when perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system takes place and the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, that is when a Super Moon occurs.
This miraculous event is set to happen three times this year. The first was on October 15/16 and the next two will be on November 14 and December 14. However, the November 14 Super Moon will be an Extra Super Moon.
Why Is the Super Moon on November 14 “Extra Super”?
Not only will the November 14 Super Moon be the closest Full Moon this year, but it will be the closest Full Moon to date this century as well. In fact, it will mark the closest Full Moon since 1948. After November 14, the Moon won’t come that close to Earth again until November 25, 2034.
It is estimated that a Super Moon could appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than the average Full Moon. Despite this significant difference, it’s not always easy to distinguish a Full Moon from a Super Moon. It depends largely on your location and the weather conditions that day or night, as the brightness could be hidden behind clouds or altered by city lights. And without the presence of a Full Moon to compare it to, you may not even notice the difference.
Nevertheless, this is an event you won’t want to miss. The Moon is expected to reach its full phase on November 14 at 1352 UTC. For any North Americans reading this: 1352 UTC is the equivalent to 9:52 A.M. AST, 8:52 A.M. EST, 7:52 A.M. CST, 6:52 A.M. MST, 5:52 A.M. PST.
Check out the following NASA video that explains the three Super Moons in 2016:
How Will the Super Moons Affect Your Life?
Full Moons generally provoke certain themes in our lives that have been gaining momentum during the weeks leading up to the Full Moon. These themes typically become more apparent during the three or four day period prior to the Full Moon as they approach a peak or release point. These themes could be so minor that you don’t notice them, or they could be significant life events that are easily recognizable, depending on other astrological variables.
These themes could present themselves through relationships or experiences or they could occur internally. Full Moons often represent a time of change, flux, and adjustment, which are often inspired by some sort of realization or an increase in consciousness. Full Moons are an excellent time to balance and integrate energies of the opposing signs or they could induce situations where they are at odds with one another.
The Extra Super Moon on November 14 will be a Super Full Moon in Taurus. Don’t forget about the December 14 Super Moon in Gemini as well. Even though the December Super Moon won’t come quite as close to Earth as the November 14 one, it will be miraculous for a different reason.
The Geminid meteor shower happens to fall on the same night as the December Super Moon. Even though the Geminid meteor shower usually dazzles viewers as it lights up the night sky, it may be overpowered by the bright moonlight. One thing’s for certain: These Super Moons will be two events you won’t want to miss, and even if you do, you may still notice the effects they have on your life!