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“Supermoon” to be seen in later November will be closest to Earth since 1948, says NASA

This year, November 14th full moon will be the closest full moon of this year, and the closest to Earth since 1948

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FILE - An eclipsed supermoon is shown on September 27, 2015 in Burbank California. VOA

November 3, 2016: Sky gazers have a special treat to look for later this month when a “supermoon” lights up the heavens.

According to NASA, the November 14th full moon will be the closest full moon of this year, and the closest to Earth since 1948. It won’t be as close again until November 25, 2034.

Even if the skies are cloudy on the 14th, the moon will still be very bright on the nights leading up to the supermoon.

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[bctt tweet=”According to NASA, the November 14th full moon will be the closest full moon of this year, and the closest to Earth since 1948. ” username=””]

A supermoon is when the moon and Earth are closer than they usually are, if only by a small margin. The slight change, however, can cause the moon to appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a normal full moon.

The term supermoon is relatively new, having been created in 1979 by astrologer Richard Nolle.

Others have referred to the supermoon as a “mega beaver moon.” That name comes from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which said it got that name because “for both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.”

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A so-called supermoon is seen at the finish of a lunar eclipse behind an Orthodox church in Turets, Belarus, 110 kilometers (69 miles) west of capital Minsk, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. VOA
A so-called supermoon is seen at the finish of a lunar eclipse behind an Orthodox church in Turets, Belarus, 110 kilometers (69 miles) west of capital Minsk, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. VOA

And if you miss the November supermoon, fret not. There will be another one on December 14. The bad news about that supermoon, according to NASA, is that it will drown on the view of the Geminid meteor shower. (VOA)

  • Ruchika Kumari

    Really…..I am eagerly waiting to see supermoon

  • Shivani Vohra

    Can’t wait for the pictures to get released.

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Scientists Create Map of Wind Circulation in the Upper Atmosphere of Mars

Scientists map winds in Mars' upper atmosphere for first time

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Mars
The new map of Mars winds helps scientists to better understand the workings of the Martian climate. (Representational image). Pixabay

Using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft, researchers have created the first-ever map of wind circulation in the upper atmosphere of Mars.

The new map of Mars winds helps scientists to better understand the workings of the Martian climate, giving them a more accurate picture of its ancient past and its ongoing evolution.

“The observed global circulation provides critical inputs needed to constrain global atmospheric models,” said Mehdi Benna of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

“These are the same models that are used to extrapolate the state of the Martian climate into the distant past,” added Benna in the first paper published in the journal Science.

MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission) celebrated the five-year anniversary of its entrance into orbit around Mars on September 21.

Mission Mars
The winds observed in the Martian upper atmosphere are sometimes similar to what we see in global model simulations. (Representational image). Pixabay

The primary scientific goal of the mission is to study what is left of Mars’ atmosphere to determine how, in the distant past, an ocean-covered and potentially habitable Mars became the dry and desolate place it is today.

“The winds observed in the Martian upper atmosphere are sometimes similar to what we see in global model simulations, but other times can be quite different,” said Kali Roeten of University of Michigan.

“These winds can also be highly variable on the timescale of hours, yet in other cases, are consistent throughout the observation period, said Roeten in the second paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Planets.

Upper atmospheric winds on Earth have already been mapped in detail.

Winds drive a series of processes in the atmosphere that can affect the propagation of radio waves, which are crucial for communications purposes for those on the surface, and the prediction of paths satellites will take in their orbit around Earth.

Mapping Martian winds, therefore, is a crucial step towards understanding characteristics of extraterrestrial atmospheres beyond what we know about processes on Earth.

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The upper atmospheric winds on both Earth and Mars are in the planets’ respective thermospheres, which are areas where temperature increases with height.

This discovery was the first detection of topography-induced gravity wave ripples in the thermosphere of any planet, even Earth. (IANS)