By Tony Winterburn • 07 April 2020 • 8:41
Although a full moon theoretically lasts just a moment, that moment is imperceptible to ordinary observation, and for a day or so before and after, most will speak of seeing the nearly full moon as ‘full,’ although if you look carefully enough, you’ll be able to tell that on Monday night and Wednesday night, the moon will appear ever-so-slightly out of roundness compared to Tuesday night.
The narrow strip of darkness will appear on the left side of the moon on Monday and the right side of the moon on Wednesday. What was once called a ‘perigean full moon’ is now referred to in popular parlance, as a ‘supermoon.’
In addition, the near coincidence of Tuesday’s full moon with perigee will result in a dramatically large range of high and low ocean tides; high tides will run higher than normal and low tides will be lower than normal.
Any coastal storm at sea around this time will almost certainly aggravate coastal flooding problems. Such an extreme tide is known as a perigean spring tide, the word spring being derived from the German ‘springen’ – meaning to ‘spring up’ – and is not, as is often mistaken, a reference to the spring season.
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