On Tuesday, Feb. 19, you’ll no doubt hear the mainstream media proclaiming that on that night Earthlings will witness a „supermoon.“
By Joe Rao | SPACE.com
It’s a term — or, more specifically, a branding — of relatively recent origin; it came not from astronomy, but astrology, and was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979. Nolle arbitrarily defined a supermoon as a new or full moon that occurs when the natural satellite is at or near (within 90 percent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee).
Interestingly, nobody paid much attention to Nolle’s definition until March 19, 2011, when the full moon arrived at an exceptionally close perigee, coming within 126 miles (203 kilometers) of its closest possible approach to Earth.