The Summer Solstice and SUPERMOON !

June 20, 2013   The Summer Solstice - The longest day of the year, arrives tomorrow, June 21, at exactly 1:04 am EDT. At that time the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth will reach it’s point of greatest inclination to the Sun.   Also known as Mid-Summer, the summer solstice is an important holiday in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and was very important to many ancient cultures. Long associated with fertility, fire, celebration, healing, and magic, it is often celebrated by large bonfires (especially on shorelines), feasting, singing, dancing, and the gathering of medicinal/magic plants.   Thought to be the time “when the forces of nature are at their most powerful, and the boundaries between the physical and spiritual worlds are thinnest.” The word Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).  Additionally, the world’s more northerly regions will celebrate the solstice with a full 24 hours of daylight. In other cultures the summer solstice is referred to as: Adonia, St. John’s Feast Day, Līgo, Liða, Midsommar, Ivan Kupala Day, Juhannus, Alban Hefin, Gŵyl Ganol yr Haf, Sankthans, Jaanipäev, Keskikesä, and Rasos.   SUPERMOON ! The Full Moon falls on Sunday, June 23 and is not only the closest and largest full moon of the year, but presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013. The moon will not be so close again until August, 2014. According to NASA, a full moon at it’s perigee is up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than one at its furthest point (apogee) supermoon   It’s not just a SuperMoon. It’s the Closest SuperMoon of 2013.  Astronomers call this sort of close full moon a perigee full moon. The word perigee describes the moon’s closest point to Earth for a given month.   Also known by gardeners and farmers as “The Full Strawberry Moon”, the Algonquin Indian tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit. In Europe it is known as the “Full Rose Moon”.   The SuperMoon and Tides Tides, the combined effect of the Sun and Moon on the Earth's oceans, is greatest when the Moon is either new or full. At lunar perigee (this Sunday) the tidal force is somewhat stronger,resulting in “perigean” tides. As the tidal force follows an inverse-cube law, that force is 18% greater than average. A quick look at the tide chart tells it all, expect high tides about a foot higher than average and low tides a foot lower than average.   By Capt. Rick Delfosse    203-216-7800

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