This summer offers a rare treat to view three Supermoons occurring during the full moon phases.
As the moon makes its elliptical orbit around Earth every month, normally only one of those orbits brings the moon to its closest distance from Earth. This year the full moon floated closest to Earth three t i m e s . O n Monday, Sept. 8, the moon reaches full phase at 9:38 p.m. and will be slightly less intense than the recent full Supermoon on Aug. 10.
If you don’t have a telescope handy, binoculars will reveal the intriguing details on the lunar surface in 3- D. Binoculars bring the best views of the moon, from a new two-day old sliver with dark Earthshine, to first quarter phase when tops of craters are visible poking out of the straight shadow line, to the happy Man in the Moon, resembling a jack o’ lantern, rising in the east at dusk until it sets in the west at dawn.
Telescopes are needed to peer into lunar craters or search for the American flag planted on the lunar surface. Weather permitting, the team of Southern Cross Astronomical Society will bring hitech equipment to the SCAS outdoor observation deck at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, to preview the final Supermoon of 2014.
Bring family, friends, chairs, blankets, bug repellant to Miami- Dade’s Bill Sadowski Park and Nature Center located at SW 176th Street and 79th Avenue, a half mile west of Old Cutler Road in Palmetto Bay.
Fading Mars and ice-ringed Saturn linger in the southwest throughout the evening and Neptune sails across the southeast. SCAS has the largest telescope in Miami-Dade for public use. The 18-inch diameter “canon” reveals breathtaking views of deep sky objects. You may see a stray meteor, scientific satellites or a weather balloon.