Mysuru: The smallest full moon of the year or "micro-moon" will be visible to stargazers on the night of September 14, according to astronomers. The "micro-moon" will be the smallest and farthest shape of the moon that will be sighted on this night.
This is due to the fact that the moon will be more than 252,000 miles away from the Earth on this occasion, as opposed to the average distance of 239,000 miles. The distance between the Moon and the Earth will be an approximate 4,05,000 kilometres on this day.
Observational Astronomer S A Mohan Krishna said, "A harvest moon, which happens nearest to the equinox, will appear on September 13 and this may be an inauspicious date. But amateur astronomers and astronomy connoisseurs will find themselves lucky because something rare is set to happen this year. The harvest moon often appears large and orange, since many people observe it as it surfaces above the horizon. But this year, the harvest moon will seem unusually small. Farthest and closest full moons recur in regular cycles."
"The closest full moon comes seven lunar months – or the seventh full moon – after tonight’s farthest full moon. Then the farthest full moon comes seven lunar months after the closest full moon. For the next seven lunar months, the full moon will come progressively closer to Earth," he added.
Krisha further said, "The full moon is expected to peak on September 14, but it will be the smallest and most distant full moon of the year. The harvest moon occurring on this date (which is a micro-moon) will be absolutely rare as the similar event occurred in 1832 and this type of event will occur after the next 50 years."
He also mentioned that this year's moon night coincides with the peak of the Delta Aquarids meteor shower, which is expected to deliver hundreds of "shooting stars" per hour. "But, the meteor showers could be largely invisible to skywatchers, since it occurs during daylight hours in North America and elsewhere, the nearly full moon will likely outshine the light show," Krishna stated.
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