August 12, 2014

Supermoon at Centennial Beach ~ August 10, 2014

After a long, hot summer day the sun slowly disappeared. Many people were leaving the beach but a large number remained.

People were in the water and on it too.

Photographers attended to whatever it is we do: adjusting things, checking other things. Waiting. Mostly waiting.

It was to be the best supermoon of the year and as the writer and I waited, on the beach in Tsawwassen, I wondered when the term supermoon began, and why. I didn't recall hearing the term growing up, nor do I remember it being discussed in astronomy books I might have read.

Apparently, and we have time since we are still waiting, the name supermoon was coined in 1979 by an astrologer of all people. Richard Nolle defined it as a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90%) of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit.

The term supermoon is not used by astronomers, which prefer to use terms like perigee-syzygy or perigee full.

Somehow supermoon sounds better.

Eventually, the moon began to appear, slowly at first, seemingly ejecting itself from the very body of Mount Baker. There was an noticeable "ahhh" from the assembled congregation on the beach, possibly some are into astrology and certainly all were keen to see this supermoon.

It rose and for a moment or two seemed as if to dwarf the mountain, bright and bold and big. Like something super.

And soon enough it was just another full moon:
bright and bold and big, and providing enough light to stay on the water just a bit longer.

Photos by Jim Murray. Copyright 2014.

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