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In Between Moonrise and Moonset, A Darkened SuperMoon Was Visible Through A Thin Layer of Fog Over Much of Chicagoland

Sun May 06 2012 7:13 pm
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SuperMoon over Arlington Heights about 4:00 a.m. Sunday, May 5, 2012, just over four hours after perigee coincided with a full Moon at 11:35 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012.

A perigee is the point in orbit that an object makes its closest approach to earth. The Moon is full while in perigee about once every 412 days. The perigee doesn’t always happen at the same time as a full Moon. A supermoon, is the coincidence of a Full Moon (or a New Moon) with perigee. The actual time of the coincidence was at 11:35 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012.

The SuperMoon of May 5, 2012 (11:35 p.m. CDT) was 14% bigger and 30% brighter than regular Full Moon phases. The moon was 356,953 kilometers or 221,800 miles away.

On May 19, 2012 the moon is in apogee, which is the furthest approach in the period of the orbit. At apogee on May 19, the Moon is 406,450 kilometers or 252,556 miles away.

Next year there is a SuperMoon on June 23, 2012.

Over the northwest suburbs, moonrise was blocked by clouds. However, later in the middle of the night, the skies cleared, except for some foggy conditions with visibility down to five-to-eight miles. The foggy conditions caused a darkened Moon — still super-sized, but not super-bright. The fog thickened at sunrise (about 5:42 a.m.), which was eight minutes before moonset (5:50 a.m.). The Moon was totally obscured at moonset.

SuperMoon at about 4:00 a.m. CDT Sunday, May 6, 2012, just over four hours after the coincidence of perigee and a Full Moon phase occurred at 11:35 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2012. The Moon was darkened by a thin layer of fog and haze.

CLEAR SKIES?  Weather Data for Sunday, May 6th, 2012

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    Temperature: 6.4°F | Humidity: 76% | Pressure: 30.49in ( Falling) | Conditions: Clear | Wind Direction: East | Wind Speed: 0.0mph
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    Sunday - Snow. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Highs in the lower 20s. Lowest wind chill readings zero to 10 below zero in the morning. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.
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    Rest of Tonight - Increasing cloudiness. Lows 5 to 10 above in the suburbs...but 10 to 15 above downtown. West winds around 5 mph late in the evening shifting to the south after midnight.
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    Sunday Night - Snow. Snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Total snow accumulation 2 to 4 inches. Lows in the lower 20s. South winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.


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