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Posted at 10:59 AM ET, 05/07/2012

Clouds play Supermoon spoiler: photo and time lapse


The Super Moon makes a brief appearance over the Jefferson Memorial on the evening of May 5, 2012. For most of the evening, the moon was obscured by clouds. (Kevin Ambrose)
With all of the hype about the amazing Super Moon that was scheduled to rise above Washington on the evening of May 5, I decided to make a trip to the Tidal Basin to capture the event with both video and still images.

The forecast was for cloudy skies so I knew that chances of a good moonrise were slim. I decided to make the trip anyway, figuring that worst case I’d get a time lapse video of clouds moving over Washington. This is a weather blog, after all, and time lapse videos of clouds can be cool, especially if they include a rising Super Moon.

As expected, clouds ruled the evening skies and spoiled what could have been a great and unique moonrise over Washington. However, the moon did make several fleeting appearances, casting a yellow glow through breaks in the clouds as it rose above the horizon.

See below for the Supermoon time lapse and another time lapse video of the moonrise over Washington on March 7, 2012.

The time lapse video of the clouds with brief glimpses of the Super Moon (Kevin Ambrose).

The scientific term for the Super Moon is “perigee moon.” The perigee moon occurs when the moon’s elliptical orbit is closest to the earth. During the night of May 5-6, the full moon reached perigee and it should have appeared 14% bigger and 30% brighter (than a full moon at apogee, farthest awsay). With the clouds over Washington obscuring the view, it was hard to notice any difference in size or brightness during the moon’s brief appearances.

Here are some poems about the Supermoon submitted by CWG readers on Facebook:

Patty Ferreira: The supermoon, in all her delight, we stare at through the night, her light shines brightly so we can see, all the clouds hide beneath. As we gaze in hypnotic delight....we wonder what else hides at night..

Dave Tucker: Just saw the peak-a-boo moon, shining brightly to our delight, but by the time we grabbed our camera, it again vanished from our sight.

Jennifer K Cosham: Promised moon so large/Hidden by a veil of cloud/Frustrates its seekers

MacKenzie Duffield: Wind please blow/These clouds away/So we may see that super glow/On this fifth of May

Leonora Moran: Under a cloud bank - the super moon sank - there she paces - and hides her faces - good night full moon - see you in June!

Czarina Gomez: I glimpsed you for a second/between the massive cloud/more beautiful than visioned/I stood there as you glistened/loosing my senses/left no room for tenses/embracing my own enshroud

David Hrdy: I just want a look/But oh thick clouds lunar sight you took/Meteor shower is covered too/Though sky is orange I’m blue.

Time lapse of the moonrise over Washington on March 7, 2012. (Kevin Ambrose)

Related link: Supermoon 2012: Reactions and photos, May 5

By  |  10:59 AM ET, 05/07/2012

Categories:  Latest, Space, Photography, Astronomy

 
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