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The Moon's orbit is not a perfect circle, so it's distance and its apparent size vary by a few percent over the course of a month. Nothing spectacular. What's new is that the media have decided to give a label to the event when the Moon is at perigee (nearest to Earth) while full at the same time. That's a 'super Moon'. Soon, we also got super Moons when the Moon was only close to perigee while full.

Don't worry about missing a super Moon. Just get binoculars. Rather than seeing the Moon a few percent bigger, the Moon in 8x40 binoculars gets seven hundred percent bigger! Also, when it´s not  full, the Moon is much more interesting to observe, due to the long shadows that craters and mountain ranges cast along the terminator. You can see those best around first and last quarter.


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Ok. By the way rockystar, someone recommended that I buy the same scope as you for good planetary viewing. They said it would be a good upgrade from my Skywatcher Explorer 130p. Would you recommend it? Of course, I know the atmospheric effect in the UK will affect this but either way, would you recommend this scope for Planetary viewing?

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I've had some cracking views of Jupiter and Saturn with this scope, you get a pretty good image scale with it. Try to keep it well collimated and have some patience when viewing (a wide angle eyepiece helps) and you will reap its rewards. Views of the moon are also very good with it, and of course it is a good step up for the fainter DSOs.

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I saw it here, but was disappointed in that it appeared to be very much a standard full moon to me.

I can offer you this happenstance shot I got when making a time lapse set. The moon was not my object, sorry.

I had gone from The Great Orion Nebula, to the Maia Nebula. Shooting around the 'Super' Moon.


Edited by SonnyE
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Saw it (and many before). To the naked eye/brain it does seem larger/brighter than usual.......but in reality......its not.

The media (those who dont do astronomy)...make such a fuss over it, when in reality its not even worth writing home about.

I have no doubt in my mind that the news media will in the next 3-4 days start making a BIG issue of the annual Geminid meteor shower and report (via an expert in the studio).........that we will be bombarded with a few hundred "asteroids" per hour.

Give me a break.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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