The whole “Super Moon” thing has been driving me a bit nuts. It does not look that much bigger to me. And it’s certainly not a new thing. I’ve been thinking that the only real change is the hype. So I decided to dig out some facts.
The moon at apogee (its farthest point from earth) appears 29.40″ (that’s arc-minutes) in the sky. An arc-minute is 1/60th of a degree of arc, with a full circle being 360 degrees. At perigee, or it’s closest point, it appears 33.48″. This is 13.87% larger.
To make sense of 13.87% larger, consider that, according to the US Mint, the diameter of a nickel is .835 inches and the diameter of a quarter is .955 inches. So, a quarter is 14.37% larger than a nickel.
So the difference between “super-moon” and the smallest apparent moon, or shall we say mini-moon, is just about the same as the difference between a nickel and a quarter. But then, apogee is just as rare or just as common as perigee, so the real comparison should actually be normal-moon to super-moon – which is more like the difference between a dime and a penny.
So if you agree with this analysis, then when the next person tells you they saw the super-moon and it was “awesome!” – you’ll have the data to support your informing them that they are a lunatic. As in “The lunatic is on the grass…”.
If you are wondering what this all has to do with data backup and / or cloud based disaster recovery, so am I. Please just forgive my mini-rant.