Maybe still a chance to see Super Moon Monday evening around Western Washington
UPDATED FOR MONDAY EVENING:
If you haven't heard by yet, the full moon Monday morning wasn't just "full", it was "super full!"
Monday marks this year's "supermoon" -- the closest full moon of the year. But it's not just any supermoon, it's coming closer than any full moon has in almost 69 years -- a mere 221,523 miles. The moon's orbit around Earth is elliptical, so it's all about timing the exact time of full moon with the exact time the moon is at its closest point in orbit.
NASA says closest approach will occur at 3:21 a.m. PST and full moon will occur at 5:52 a.m. PST. But even though the peak of the super moon-ness has technically passed, it'll still look pretty much the same Monday evening.
Supermoons can appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter in the night sky. But it takes a real expert to notice the difference.
Yet it's a great excuse to get outside and just enjoy the moon, and for photographers to get their creative juices flowing.
When can I see it?
The moon rises again Monday evening at 5:18 p.m. in the eastern sky (It'll technically be past super moon time, but still pretty amazing), but thick clouds will be moving in from the southwest as our next storm approaches. Latest projections as of Monday afternoon suggest that while it certainly won't be clear, there could be enough breaks in the clouds to perhaps sneak a few peeks of the Super Moon. Best chances will be north of Seattle, but it doesn't hurt to peek in the Puget Sound region. Best times to see it against objects on the horizon are between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
How best to photograph it?
To get the right light balance of the moon on newer iPhones and other smartphones, "Tap the screen and hold your finger on the object (in this case, the moon) to lock the focus. Then slide your finger up or down to darken or lighten the exposure," suggests NASA senior photographer Bill Ingalls. "You’re not going to get a giant moon in your shot, but you can do something more panoramic, including some foreground that’s interesting. Think about being in an urban area where the foreground will be a little bit brighter."
What if you have a fancier camera?
For digital SLR photography, Ingalls uses the daylight white balance setting for capturing moonlight, since sunlight is being reflected off the moon.
For those with longer lenses Ingalls advises, “Keep in mind that the moon is a moving object. It’s a balancing act between trying to get the right exposure and realizing that the shutter speed typically needs to be a lot faster.”
But most importantly, Ingalls says be creative -- don't just shoot the moon by itself. “I’ve certainly done it myself, but everyone will get that shot," Ingalls said. "Instead, think of how to make the image creative—that means tying it into some land-based object. It can be a local landmark or anything to give your photo a sense of place."
Like, say, the Space Needle? (This is from 2014 via Tim Durkan)
Or Mt. Rainier?
In 2034, the moon will come even closer, within 221,485 miles. That, too, will be a supermoon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.