This will be the last “supermoon” post, I hope. There’s just something about it which seems to make journalists become especially stupid. Perhaps the Victorian doctors who said the moon caused “lunacy” were onto something.
Anyway, here’s what has pride of place on the Mail‘s science page today:
You know, lunar planet! That… moony planet?
The photos in the article are very nice looking, but the reason the moon looks so giant in them isn’t because of the “supermoon”. The trick is to take the photos of the moon when it’s very low on the horizon, grazing very distant buildings. Using a powerful zoom lens, you zoom in on the distant buildings, so they look normal sized and the moon looks gigantic. This isn’t something unique to supermoons, it can be done any day.
Like I said in last week’s post, the “supermoon” would never be as dramatic as the papers claimed – it was only 6% larger than usual, and this happens twice a month. Without a decent telescope and a camera, you probably wouldn’t notice the “supermoon” at all.