Well folks, it’s officially summer. The windows are open, and various fans are carefully positioned to coax a breeze through the house. The weather in Chicago has been fairly kind so far, but we’re only a few days past the summer solstice, so anything could happen!
I will admit that besides being excited for the summer season, I’ve also been nerding out a bit at the astronomical oddities that have been present lately. For instance, take last week’s summer solstice. The 2013 summer solstice—which occurs when Earth’s axis is most tilted toward the sun—actually began on June 20 for some westward dwellers. So the longest day of the year actually stretched over parts of two days this year, depending upon where on the globe you are located.
Hot on the heels of the solstice was the extra large, extra bright perigee moon, better known as the “supermoon.” This supermoon peaked last night, and according to astronomers it is the largest supermoon we will see until August of next year. The moon’s elliptical orbit around Earth means that its distance from us fluctuates. At its furthest point it is called an apogee moon, the closest point is the perigee moon.
In true editorial fashion, I do my best to research and fact-check on my own. But I’m no astronomical expert! Luckily there are plenty of Capstone space-focused books relating to these very topics. Here’s one of my favorite sets to get you started: