Super Moon Snow, the brightest moon of the year

Today we will have the brightest moon of the year, the Full Snow Supermoon. Moonrise will be the best time for those interested in capturing dramatic supermoon photos because the moon will be closest to the horizon. Today’s Supermoon marks a big difference from 2018, when there was no full moon in February -- called a Black Moon.
Supermoon full Moon
Image 1. Supermoon

What is a Supermoon?

The Supermoon is a full Moon that looks bigger than normal Moons. The reason is because the orbit of the Moon is a tilted eccentric ellipse (Image 2). Because of the eccentricity, there are 2 defining distances; one distance known as Apogee (when the moon is furthest from Earth), and one known as Perigee (when the moon is closes to Earth). The Supermoon occurs when the full Moon coincides with the Perigee.
Apogee and Pedigee moon distance
Image 2. Orbit of the Moon

Why Snow moon?

Native Americans and Europeans used to give names to the full moons of different months based on the local characteristics of such month. For instance, February’s full moon used to be referred as Snow Moon because of the heavy snowfalls that occur in February in the northern hemisphere. The table summarizes the names of the Moon according to different months.

Month Name Note
January Full Wolf Moon Wolves tend to howl more at this time
February Full Snow Moon The heaviest snowfalls use to fall in february
March Full Worm Moon The ground softens and earthworm casts reappear
April Full Pink Moon The first spring flores begin to appear
May Full Flower Moon Flowers spring forth in abundance
June Full Strawberry Moon Is the time to gather ripening strawberries
July Full Buck Moon Buck's antlers are in full growth mode
August Full Sturgeon Moon The sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught 
September Full Corn Moon It is the time of harvesting corn
October Full Hunter's Moon The time when natives begin to hunt and store provisions for winter
November Full Beaver Moon It was the time to set beavers traps
December Full Cold Moon It is the time when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark

Additional reading:

Gold price historical chart: Peak gold price

Who defines gold price?

The London Bullion Market Association the only gold bullion market accreditation accepted across the globe; hence, it defines the gold price. Since 2015 the ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) implemented an electronic auction system called the LBMA Gold Price.
gold price

Twice daily, at 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM UK Time, the IBA publishes the LBMA Gold Price in US dollars, which serves as a benchmark price for gold producers, investors, consumers, and central banks worldwide. The price of gold is adjusted in real-time based on financial evaluations of anonymous auction rounds run every 45 seconds. When all buy and sell orders and imbalances are within 20,000 troy ounces, the price is fixed.

What was the highest gold price ever?

The image shows a timeline of the gold price variations since 1915. We can identify periods with steep price rise, but also periods with severe price drops. The highest gold price ever recorded occurred in January 1980, when gold reached a peak price of 2 115 $ per ounce. The second highest peak was recorded in September 2011 with a price of 1 939 $ per ounce.
highest gold price and lowest gold price
Image 1. Historical gold price chart (Source: Macrotrends)

The lowest gold price occurred in December 1970 with a price of 230 $ per ounce. Another low price occurred in June 1920 with a price of 247 $ per ounce.

What defines gold price?

Gold price depends on several factors; not only gold volume or gold demand, but also socio-polital factors have a heavy influence in gold price. For instance, we can see that the rises and drops are related to moments of international wars (e.g. the drop in 1940 during WW II), new presidential administrations or even big sport events.

The only thing we have for sure is that gold is a very valuable metal for multiple reasons that were explained in previous post (see why gold is so valuable).

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