Saturday's moon should be something to ooh and aah over.
It's the first of three "supermoons" expected the summer, a term coined to describe the size of the moon when its at its closest point to the earth.
Supermoons typically appear bigger and brighter in the night sky, and prompt some changes in tide levels.
Shifts in tides
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Low tides are expected to be about a foot lower than normal, meaning more beach to enjoy this weekend, especially Saturday. By Monday, the changes in tides shouldn't be as dramatic.
At Johnson's Creek Bridge, Hunting Island:
- Friday: high tides at 7:54 a.m. and 8:20 p.m.; low tides at 1:36 a.m. and 2:16 p.m.;
- Saturday: high tides at 8:47 a.m. and 9:21 p.m.; low tides at 2:27 a.m. and 3:07 p.m.
- Sunday: high tides at 9:43 a.m. and 10:24 p.m.; low tides at 3:19 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Monday: high tides at 10:34 a.m. and 11:08 p.m.; low tides at 4:48 a.m. and 4:55 p.m.
At Calibogue Cay, Broad Creek, Hilton Head Island:
- Friday: high tides at 8:09 a.m. and 8:43 p.m.; low tides at 2:18 a.m. and 2:22 p.m.
- Satuday: high tides at 9:02 a.m. and 9:35 p.m.; low tides at 3:11 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.
- Sunday: high tides at 9:55 a.m. and 10:29 p.m.; low tides at 4:03 a.m. and 4:08 p.m.
- Monday: high tides at 10:51 a.m. and 11:25 p.m.; low tides at 4:54 a.m. and 5:01 p.m.
When does it rise?
Saturday's moon rises at about 9:08 p.m. Both Friday and Sunday's moons are expected to be large, too. Friday's moon rises at about 8:02 p.m. Sunday's moon rises at 10:09 p.m.
Mostly clear skies are expected Friday and Saturday. Forecasts call for partly cloudy skies on Sunday.
How to photograph
- It's best to photograph a supermoon as it is rising; that's when it will appear the largest. Consider capturing something in the foreground of the photo, which will give the picture a better sense of scale.
- Bring a tripod. You'll want to use a slower shutter speed and a tripod will help prevent your camera from shaking.
- Use manual settings. Slow your shutter speed and use a smaller aperture, such as f/5.6 or f/8, so that the moon will be in better focus.
- Scout locations Friday night and take a few test pictures so you're sure you've got a good spot and the right settings.
Any more supermoons expected?
Two more supermoons are expected this summer. The largest will be June 23. Another is expected July 22.
Sources: Astronomical Applications Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette photo department