Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

May's Full Moon? Let's Supersize It: Washington, Oregon, Coastal Astronomy

Published 05/05/2020 at 7:24 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

May's Full Moon? Let's Supersize It: Washington, Oregon, Coastal Astronomy

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials now that winter is here
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Winter's enticing specials now
In Lincoln City:
Major winter specials now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials this season
In Newport:
Look for many specials
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials and tempting prices now
In Yachats, Florence
Big deals available; lodgings not listed anywhere else

(Portland, Oregon) – May’s full moon will be another biggie, this time with the third and final supermoon of the year happening May 7. This new chunky moon goes by a few names: Flower Moon, Planting Moon or Milk Moon, according to OMSI’s astronomy expert Jim Todd. He added it’s also the third-closest, third-biggest and third-brightest.

Supersized moons are not rare, but they are interesting. At least two, or perhaps a half dozen, occur each year. So, this phenomenon is not unusual or unheard of, Todd said.

This time around, if you’re looking from Portland, Seattle, Ashland, Skamania, or anywhere on the Oregon and Washington coast, the moon will appear full on the morning of May 7 at 3:45 a.m., which is the overnight hours of Wednesday night. Luckily, for everyone from Bandon, Yachats, Seaside, Raymond, the Olympic National Park region over to Seattle, Portland and Eugene, weather reports show clear skies overnight and the following night.

When it’s officially full, the moon will be high above the southwestern horizon, which means those just barely east of the Washington and Oregon Cascades will still be able to see it. Earlier that day, Todd said this supermoon will be a tad above the eastern horizon at perigee at 8:02 p.m., which means closest to the Earth – at some 223,856 miles.

Those on the Washington and Oregon coasts may have problems seeing that because of hills to the east of beach towns.

Todd said on Wednesday evening, the near full moon will rise directly from the east at 7:45 p.m., followed by sunset at 8:24 p.m. in the west.

“The following morning, the sun will rise at 5:50 a.m., followed by the moon set at 6:18 a.m.,” Todd said.

What will you see?

“When a full moon occurs at or near the perigee, it looks 14% larger and 30% brighter than a typical full moon,” Todd said. “That’s what the term ‘supermoon’ refers to. Generally, supermoon is used to refer to a full moon 90 percent or closer to actual perigee. This April's full moon is the one that most closely aligns with lunar perigee.”

The full lunar cycle is 29.5 days, Todd said, and a full moon occurs right in the middle of that. It’s recognizable by a near perfect spherical shape.

Then, there’s a weird little trick of physics the moon pulls on us.

“Technically speaking, the full moon only lasts for about a second,” Todd said. “This difference cannot be seen with the naked eye. Without a telescope, it is difficult to distinguish between a moon that is 100% illuminated and a moon that is 99% illuminated. While the Moon may only be 100% full for about one minute, it looks ‘full’ for about three days. On Tuesday, the precise instant of full moon comes to pass at 7:35 p.m. when it is just before sunset and barely above the eastern horizon.”


Fun Astronomy Facts:

Todd said the moon travels in an ellipse that sends it close to us and then farther in its orbit. When the moon is at its farthest away from us this ellipse is called apogee, which about 251,966 miles from earth on average.

“Its closest point is the perigee, which is an average distance of about 225,744 miles from earth,” Todd said. “On average, the distance from earth to the moon is about 238,855 miles. During every 27-day orbit around earth, the Moon reaches both its apogee and perigee.”

Since OMSI is closed during the current pandemic situation, Todd is featuring a regular set of videos about astronomy from a local perspective with his Backyard Stargazing series. Check out the museum’s Facebook page to see these fascinating and fun installments.

Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours






More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss

 



Coastal Spotlight


LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Fiery Scottish / Irish Christmas Show Comes to South Oregon Coast's Coos Bay
A sizzling blend of Celtic cultures in music happens Dec 16. South coast events
Central Oregon Coast's Florence Holiday Festival Expands, with Gnomes, Lighte...
December 3: new additions to the festival, one starts Black Friday. Florence events
Spectacular Geminid Meteor Showers Coming to Oregon Coast, Washington Coast
Perfect conditions may yield as many as 120 fireballs per hour
South Oregon Coast's Hughes House Christmas Returns to Port Orford
Christmas Tea on Dec 17, 18 - Tours Dec 22, 23 and 26. South coast events
Recreational Crabbing Banned on South Oregon Coast; Commercial Season Delayed
The marine toxin domoic acid is high in crab. Weather
Small Quake Rattles Off South Oregon Coast, 112 Miles from Bandon
It struck off Friday morning, clocking in at a magnitude 4.5. Geology
Get Ready for Wild(ish?) King Tides on Oregon Coast, Washington Coast
First round starts November 24 - 26, and it may or not be big. Weather
Two Little Ghost Towns on S. Oregon Coast Near Bandon: History of Prosper, Ra...
At one time, they were bustling ports, filled with workers, ships

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details