The Full Moon of March 5 will be the smallest and most distant Full Moon of 2015.
In recent years there’s been a huge ado about supermoons, the largest and closest Full Moons of the year. This year, the biggest Full Moon occurs on September 27 and is accompanied by a lunar eclipse turning it BLOOD RED!
Photographers wishing to capture a comparison of the biggest Full Moon with the smallest will need to shoot the Moon this week, on March 5. That’s the date for 2015’s most distant and smallest Full Moon – the mini-moon of March.
On March 5 the Moon reaches its apogee – the most distant point in its monthly elliptical orbit around Earth about 10 hours before it reaches the moment of full phase at mid-day on March 5 for North America. On March 5 the Moon’s maximum distance will be 406,384 kilometres from Earth (measured from the centre of Earth to the centre of the Moon). By nightfall on March 5 the Moon will be a little closer than that but not by much.
There’s also a total lunar eclipse next month, on the morning of April 4. That will actually be the smallest Full Moon of 2015.
Then six Full Moons later, on September 27, the Moon will reach its monthly perigee point closest to Earth less than an hour before full phase, at a distance of 356,877 kilometres. That will be the much-publicized supermoon of 2015, as that night it also undergoes a total eclipse. The Full Moon will turn DEEP BLOOD RED in the early evening for North America. But wait until the umbral phase is over, and you’ll have a normal looking Full Moon to create the comparison pair.
Shoot both Full Moons with the same optical system and you’ll have a pair of real images comparing the minimum and maximum apparent sizes of the Moon, much like the simulations above.
And remember there is a solar total eclipse on March 20 2015!