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Dublin: 22 °C Tuesday 21 August, 2018
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As the moon rises over Ireland at 5pm, it will be the biggest it's been in 68 years

Make sure to catch a glimpse, weather pemitting of course.

Tonight offers a great chance to capture some fabulous images.
Tonight offers a great chance to capture some fabulous images.
Image: Anthony Lynch photography

IF YOU GET  a chance during rush hour, take a moment to check out the rise of tonight’s ‘supermoon’ that will look especially large because of an optical illusion.

Tonight’s supermoon will see the moon the closest it’s been to earth for 68 years, meaning it will appear usually large and bright in the night sky.

Astronomy Ireland says it has worked out that the moon will be at its very closest to Ireland in particular tonight around midnight when the minimum distance will be 351,825 km.

The moon will appear largest earlier this evening though when it rises low over the horizon. At about 5pm, the moon will appear to be biggest it has been since 1948.

Provided there are no clouds and not too much light pollution, people should be able to see earth’s satellite loom unusually large over the horizon shortly after sunset, irrespective of where in the world they are.

A ‘supermoon’ happens because the moon does not orbit around the earth in a perfect circle. Instead, its elliptical orbit means that the moon’s distance from earth can vary by up to 14%.

The point at which the moon is closest to earth is called the perigee. Tonight’s supermoon will be up to 30% brighter in the night sky.

“On 14 November, it becomes full within about two hours of perigee — arguably making it an extra-supermoon,” NASA says on its website.

Previous supermoon events have seen people capturing some beautiful images of earth’s only natural satellite.

Photographer Anthony Lynch of Republic of Astronomy has some tips about taking photographs of the phenomenon.

“Camera phones are not great but you can get a photo with them,” he says. “Best not to zoom in too much as it decreases the quality of the shot. It’s easier and better to crop the shot.”

You will need a tripod to keep the camera steady as even a little vibration can ruin the quality of a shot. If you don’t have a tripod then just use a wall or anything steady and stationary that the camera can sit on.Settings for the camera will depend on the light and location at the time. At night we use longer exposures to get light to the sensor as it’s dark outside but if you use a long exposure on the full moon, the moon will be blown out with no detail. This can be nice still if you want the land lit up with a moon reflection on a lake or anything else. I want detail on my moon though so I would suggest you go out early.

If you take any photos of tonight’s supermoon, send them in to us so we can share them with other readers. You can send them by email to pictures@thejournal.ie or via Twitter at @thejournal_ie. Happy snapping! 

Read: Tonight’s Supermoon will be the biggest in 68 years >

Read: The moon will turn blood red tonight in extremely rare Supermoon total eclipse >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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