Supermoon? Super meh

A moon sets as seen from Whitley Bay, northeast England, as the sun begins to rise, early Tuesday Feb. 19, 2019. Owen Humphreys | PA, via AP

You’ve probably heard that Tuesday night will be a supermoon, the nearly once-a-month occurrence when the moon appears super big and super bright.

Bottom line, though: You won’t really notice much difference from a typical full moon, despite the hype of meteorologists.

In fact, the notion of a supermoon wasn’t even a “thing” until March 2011, when the moon came within 123 miles of the closest its ever been to earth, writes Joe Rao on LiveScience.

Why did it suddenly get attention? Because a little more than a week earlier, the Japan earthquake struck, and someone “dredged up” astrologer Richard Nolle’s definition of a supermoon and his 2011 claim that geophysical forces would create seismic activity because of it, something that is without scientific proof, Rao notes.

There are now about three supermoons a year, by Nolle’s definition, which Rao doesn’t find all that super.

If you step outside and look at the moon on Tuesday night and expect to see something special, you’ll likely be disappointed. At least last month’s so-called supermoon was accompanied by a total lunar eclipse. Still, tons of images are posted to the internet in advance of a supermoon, depicting exceedingly large, full moons from images taken with telephoto lenses, implying that the moon is going to look amazingly large in the sky.

At its closest on Tuesday, the moon will be 221,681 miles (356,761 km) from Earth. But that’s only 7.2 percent closer than the natural satellite’s average distance from our planet. So, while Tuesday’s moon will indeed be the “biggest” in apparent size, unless you catch the moon when it’s either rising or setting — and appearing briefly larger than normal because of the famous “moon illusion” — Tuesday’s full moon will look pretty much like any other full moon.

Some websites claim the moon will be 30 percent brighter tonight, but that works out to only three-tenths of a magnitude, not enough for you to notice.

Even more so since it’s going to be cloudy around here anyway because of the super snow that’s expected.