After centuries, this year will experience the closest New Supermoon to Earth.
On January 21, 2023, we will experience the influence of the closest New Supermoon to Earth since the Middle Ages, an event that is also part of a series of new supermoons that began in 2022 and will culminate in March 2023.
The Moon is trapped in a sempiternal dance with the Earth, thanks to the gravitational field of the latter, which is why the satellite constantly circles our planet and although it is sometimes thought that it does so by pursuing a circular trajectory, the truth is that the lunar orbit is not perfect. It has an ellipsoid shape which means that there are moments when it is closer and farther away from us, points known as perigee and apogee.
But also, if the perigee, which is the closest point to the Earth, coincides with the full or new phase, it is said that we have a supermoon. Full supermoons are widely known among lovers of the cosmos because there is a belief that they look bigger, but new supermoons have gone unnoticed because they are not visible in the night sky, although they are still interesting astronomical phenomena.
The Closest New Supermoon of the Modern Era
The average distance between the Moon and the Earth is 384,400 kilometers, but thanks to the ellipsoid trajectory that the Earth’s natural satellite follows, there are times when it is more distant or closer than this. Records show that on January 21, 2023, we will have the closest new supermoon since 1,337 years ago, which makes it the closest new supermoon since the Middle Ages.
In addition, calculations also point out that the next time the natural satellite will come so close to us in its new phase, it will be 345 years from now, so it will be an important astronomical event even though it will not be visible in the firmament. On January 21, the Super New Moon will be placed at a staggering distance of 356,571 kilometers from us, which means that it will be 27,829 kilometers closer than it normally is.
Will We Be Able to See the Closest Super New Moon?
New moons or novilunios occur when the satellite is placed between the Earth and the Sun, which means that at the moment it is in its new phase, the night side is facing away from the satellite and on the contrary, the day side faces the Moon. In other words, noviluniums occur when it is daytime and therefore are not visible in the sky.
It is for this reason that almost no attention is paid to them; however, the influence of the Moon is still present even if we are not able to see it. The satellite generates a phenomenon known as the tidal force that is responsible for the seas to experience a rise or fall of their tides, thanks to the gravitational field of the Moon. So even if we are not able to admire the splendor of the Super New Moon on January 21, it will cause a slight change in the tides that we do not have to worry about.
Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera