Another Super Moon for Oregon, Portland, Coast - Also Eclipse
(Portland, Oregon) – Another super moon is headed for the skies above Portland, the Oregon coast and the rest of the state, this time happening on September 8. It's the final encore performance of this year's super moons – this one being the third time it filled the heavens this summer. (Above: near Manzanita).
Then, a month later, look for a lunar eclipse.
Jim Todd of Portland's OMSI said the September full moon is also called the Harvest Moon. This full Moon comes closest to the first day of autumn – which occurs on September 22 at 7:29 pm.
On September 8, Todd said the Moon will be full at 6:38 p.m., while moonrise happens less than hour later.
“At 10:30 pm, the Moon will be at its closest distance to Earth, also known as perigee, at 222,692 miles from earth thus making it the so-called Super Moon,” Todd said.
You'll see it rise as a large orange ball above the eastern horizon just after 7:16 p.m., followed by sunset at 7:35 pm in the west.
“The orange color of a moon near the horizon is a true physical effect,” Todd said. “When looking toward the horizon, we are actually looking through a greater thickness of Earth's atmosphere than when looking directly overhead. The atmosphere scatters blue light (the reason the sky looks blue). The thickness of the atmosphere in the direction of a horizon scatters blue light most effectively, but it lets red light pass through. So a moon near the horizon takes on a yellow, orange or reddish hue.”
Todd said increased particles in the air are typical this of year and could make the Moon even darker.
This is the last of the three Super Moons in 2014. For comparison, the Moon was 222,612 miles at perigee for July and 221,208 miles in August. The Moon will not be so close again until the full Moon of September 28, 2015, just 11 miles closer than August 2014.
You may also notice it appears larger than usual, which is a trick that your eyes play called "the moon illusion."
The next full moon happens on October 8 – and there's something special with that one. Look for a lunar eclipse.
Todd said on that day, the full moon will slide through the dark shadow of the Earth, and for 58 minutes the only light hitting the Moon will be the reddish glow from Earth's sunrises and sunsets resulting in a total lunar eclipse. Totality begins at 3:27 am and the point of the greatest eclipse occurs at 3:55 am. The eclipse's total phase will last for 58 minutes. The Moon will be 34 degrees above the southern horizon at the instant of the greatest eclipse.
The Oregon coast will be a prime place to view all this, if the weather holds out. This time of year is the warmest on the coastal beaches and skies tend to be clearer. The phenomenon is called “Second Summer” and it usually holds out all the way through the middle of October.
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