I hope you’ve all saved up a couple of vacation days, because we’ve got another supermoon heading our way this Tuesday night. You’re going to need to take off from work on Tuesday to prepare, and then on Wednesday, to nurse what’s sure to be an epic supermoon hangover. Did you miss the first supermoon way back at the beginning of the summer? That’s too bad. What about the second one? Really? How could you miss two supermoons? Those are some serious prioritization problems you’ve got there.
Because just ask any astrophysicist: the supermoon is the ultimate astronomical spectator event. Solar eclipses? Overhyped and boring. Perseid meteor showers? Wow, I almost nodded off at the computer just typing out Perseid meteor shower. OK, that time I really did fall asleep. Shit, I was supposed to pick up my wife’s dry-cleaning an hour ago.
Goddamn Perseid meteor shower. Well, you missed the first two supermoons, and you didn’t really have an excuse. But it’s OK, because you’ve got one last chance to behold the glory that will be this Tuesday’s supermoon. It’s going to be awesome. Here are five reasons why you should do whatever it takes to make sure that you don’t miss it.
1. Supermoons are awesome
I can’t believe I actually have to type this out for you, but the supermoon is so f’ing cool. On a clear night, you might actually lose track of night and day, and if you’re not constantly looking at your watch to remind yourself of what time it is, it’s easy to lose your orientation in space-time. For real, during the first supermoon, I wasn’t prepared for just how incredibly bright the sky was going to be. I thought it was a lot earlier than it was, and then all of the sudden the sun started coming up. “What happened? Did I miss night?” and then I was late for work and it took me like a week to get back to my regular sleep schedule.
But for the second supermoon, I came prepared. I bought a pair of moonglasses. They’re really just a pair of sunglasses, but with a very weak tint. You know, you see them by the checkout at Urban Outfitters, you think to yourself, why would I wear those? They look like they offer almost zero protection against the sun. And that’s true. But for the blinding bright-but-not-quite-as-bright-as-the-sun light of the supermoon, they’re almost a necessity. Stock up.
2. You can see the American flags left by the astronauts
Normally you need a pair of ridiculously expensive high-tech binoculars to be able to spot one of the many United States flags planted on the moon during the heyday of the Apollo program, but not many people know that the supermoon offers a very rare opportunity for amateur moongazers to spot the beloved lunar stars and stripes with the naked eye.
I can already hear the space nerds protesting from their computer chairs: “But Rob! That’s not true! Due to the moon’s lack of atmosphere, those flags have all been bleached white thanks to a constant stream of solar radiation!” Blah, blah, blah. Let me tell you something, all right, these colors do not run. You know what that means? That means that I’m not going to let some phony elitist try to tell me that Old Glory is somehow transformed into the white flag of surrender. It’s pure baloney, and I don’t care what the scientists say, because their “no atmosphere” argument doesn’t hold up. My grandparents used to have a giant American flag in their living room. Talk about no atmosphere, what with my grandfather’s constant stream of pipe smoke combined with my grandmother’s penchant for Pall Mall’s, that place was like an atmospheric dead zone. And those colors never ran. Trust me, look closely on Tuesday night. It might take a little while, but you’ll spot them eventually, you’ll see those American flags.
3. The supermoon has super effects on the earth’s gravity
This is just basic gravitational theory: the moon is closer, that’s why it’s bigger. And the moon is pulling on us just like we’re pulling on the moon. So that’s why everything is just slightly lighter when there’s a supermoon. Don’t believe me? Weigh yourself today, and then weigh yourself Tuesday night. As long as you don’t eat an especially heavy dinner, you’ll usually see a difference from anywhere between a half a pound to a pound.
Sure, it’s not a lot, but it’s something. And if you’ve been waiting for the price of postage to drop before you sent that giant care package overseas, why not take advantage of the celestially discounted freight? If you’re in the bulk shipping business, I don’t know what to tell you, because I already told you to take off from work on Tuesday. But how are you going to cash in on all of those savings while simultaneously making sure you have enough time to appreciate the majesty of the supermoon? It’s a tough call. I’m glad I don’t have to make those decisions.
4. The supermoon lessens your inhibitions
Did you know that the word lunatic has something to do with the word lunar, and thus, the moon? It’s because that those same gravitational tugs that pull your giant care package just slightly off of the scale also work the same way on liquids. That’s why there’s always a high tide during a full moon, because the moon’s gravity keeps everything in place. It also works the same way on the liquid in your body, specifically, your brain.
Ask any doctor or nurse of police officer: people are just a lot crazier during a full moon. There are more arrests made, and more crazy people being brought into the hospital. What do you think happens during a supermoon? That’s exactly right, people go totally off the wall. Which is great, because you can basically do whatever you want, and then chalk it up the next day to a bad case of moon madness. Now is the time to start taking those risks that you’d normally shrug off while the moon hangs out at apogee. Make that impulse purchase, hook up with that questionable coworker, run naked through the streets howling at the sky. You might shake your head no, like you’re somehow immune to the cosmic personality-shifting effects of the supermoon. But you’re not, so you might as well embrace the fun times ahead.
5. This is the last supermoon for a long, long time
Yeah, it’s pretty crazy that we’re getting three supermoons this summer. It’s almost getting to feel like supermoons might start becoming a regular thing. But don’t get too comfortable. In fact, I actually hate to be the one to break this to you, but after this supermoon, it’s likely that you’ll never see another supermoon again, unless you live for something like another hundred and thirteen years or so.
That’s right, while the moon’s been steadily growing larger over the course of the past four months, this Tuesday marks the end of the moon’s super cycle. After that, it’s going to start getting smaller, a lot smaller. In a couple of years from now, we’ll start marking our calendars to spot the first in a series of micromoons. At first, it might look kind of cute, charming even. But after a while, it’ll steadily recede into the background of the night sky, getting so tiny until you won’t even be able to differentiate it from the distant stars. And it’ll be really, really sad. Because how often do you we cast our glances upward to appreciate even a regular moon? No, we take it for granted, and we’re all going to be really sorry when it’s gone. So seriously, clear your schedule for Tuesday night. Watch the supermoon. It’s going to be sick.
Originally published at Thought Catalog