The "super moon" of August 2014 captured by Expedition 40's Oleg Artemyev on the International Space Station. Credit: OlegMKS / Twitter

Watch This Weekend’s Near-‘Supermoon’ Set From The Space Station

Article Updated: 23 Dec , 2015

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With the full Moon approaching just a little bit closer than Earth to usual, a cosmonaut on the International Space Station took a few moments of his time to capture a few shots of it setting behind the Earth. Oleg Artemyev was just a shade closer to that Moon than the rest of us, and the sequence of pictures (below the jump) is stunning.

As Universe Today’s David Dickinson explained last week, the so-called “supermoon” refers to a phenomenon where the full Moon falls within 24 hours of perigee (closest approach to the Earth.) We’re in a cycle of supermoons right now, with this weekend’s the second in a three-part cycle this year.

The Moon appears about 14% bigger between its furthest and closest approaches to Earth. While the difference is subtle in the sky, it does produce higher tides on Earth (with an example being Hurricane Sandy in 2012.)

Technically the perigee happened August 10 at 6:10 p.m. UTC (2:10 p.m. EDT), but people  (including Artemyev) took several pictures of the moon a bit before and after that time. One example from our Universe Today Flickr pool is at the bottom of this post. You can see more examples on Flickr.

A nearly full supermoon rises above Bow Lake, British Columbia. Credit: Alan Dyer

A nearly full supermoon rises above Bow Lake, British Columbia in August 2014. Credit: Alan Dyer

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2 Responses

  1. Beckler says:

    “Oleg Artemyev was just a shade closer to that Moon than the rest of us…”

    Well for small sections of his orbit he’d be closer, for others, further than the rest of us on Earth. For this picture I’d say he’s certainly further – unless there’s no one present on the surface on that part of the Earth. 🙂

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