2014 has been blessed with multiple supermoons. This is when the moon's orbit takes it closest to the earth while full. This gives you an exceptionally bright moon. August 10 will bring the brightest supermoon of 2014.
Attribution: Pixabay - werner22brigitte
The correct name for a supermoon is a perigee full moon, where a perigee is just a fancy name for the point in an orbit where distance between the 2 bodies is least.
When you look at a supermoon in the sky it won't look any bigger than normal, mostly because the size difference isn't really that big plus the fact that the size the moon appears in the sky has more to do with an optical illusion than actual size. The moon normally appears large on the horizon and smaller high in the sky. The reason for this has yet to be adequately explained by psychology, but mostly it seems to be due to reference points to which we can compare the size of the moon.
Supermoons deliver much brighter moonlight than normal. Having hiked at night during a supermoon without any flashlights I can attest to the brightness. The best place to view a supermoon is somewhere open and unlit by artificial light.
On August 10 the moon will rise at 4:54 pm, so during the afternoon. This will mean you should be able to get great photos of the moon over a still light landscape. The moon will be highest in the sky at 11:37 pm and set at 6:14 am the next morning. So it should be a great night for moon watching.
August 10 is a Sunday, so if you don't want to stay up late on Sunday, the moon should be equally bright on the 9th as well, but rising about an hour earlier.
Attribution: Pixabay - Maxline
Popular Supermoon activities
The most popular activity is to watch the moon rise, either over water or over the city. The location of the moonrise means that in Brisbane Highgate Hill park is possibly the best location for observing, though Mt Coot-tha provides both great views over the city and a cafe from which to watch moon rising.
For watching the moon head to one of the many seaside locations along the coast around Brisbane. August will probably still be fairly cold so staying inside while watching the moonrise could be the best option. Surfer's Paradise offers multiple options for dining with ocean views, in Brisbane it would have to be the Full Moon Hotel at Sandgate.
If you want to walk by moonlight you need to get away from the city but somewhere that has few overhanging trees. Mt Coot-Tha's Powerful Owl Trail is perfect for this, otherwise you might want to head to a beach side location such as Bribie Island or the beach side bushland area at South Port on the Gold Coast. Remember cloud cover and overhanging trees can quickly make it very dark so make sure that you are prepared for night hiking.
Moon photography is a popular activity during a supermoon. Due the early rise of the moon in the afternoon it will not be possible during this supermoon to get a nighttime rise photograph. However the moon should appear very bright over the city while there is still some light, which could give some interesting photographs. For moonlight photography you need a camera tripod as well as a camera where you can adjust both aperture and timing settings..
Was disappointed at Highgate Hill last month as moon rises 90 degrees to right of city. No chance of decent photo whilst it is low down.
Wynnum esplanade provides an unimpeded view with Moreton Bay / Straddie as a backdrop :)