Crescent Supermoon vs Full Mini-moon

The moon fascinates me – it always has. I think my fascination comes from watching the moon when I was a kid in hospital. It’s only recently that I have begun to understand just how it is the same old moon and look so different. This piece from Space Weather is my latest piece of erudition:

The Moon’s orbit is an ellipse, with one side 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other. This has an effect on the apparent size of the Moon. The lunar disk grows larger when the Moon is nearby and smaller when far away. In the past two weeks we have witnessed two extremes–a crescent supermoon followed by a full ‘mini-Moon.’ Peter Lowenstein of Mutare, Zimbabwe, photographed them both:

Supermoon and Mini-moon

Supermoon and Mini-moon

The size difference was so great, the crescent Moon of May 27th could hold the full Moon of June 9th with room to spare!” says Lowenstein. “I took these photographs from the same location in Mutare using the same optical zoom setting (x60) on the same Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ-60 camera within two hours of moonset.”

Some people say that mini-Moons and supermoons all appear to be the same size.  After all, there are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters, and without reference points to provide a sense of scale, one Moon can indeed look much like any other. However, Lowenstein’s photo shows there is a real difference.”