Supermoon disrupts Half Moon Bay ferry services

The 2017 supermoon. Times photo Wayne Martin

Locals gazed up at the sky in unison last night as 2017’s only supermoon lit up the sky.

A supermoon occurs when a moon is both full and at the point in its orbit when it is closest to Earth, which means it will appear up to 14 per cent bigger than normal.

It also appears 30 per cent brighter as the Earth is nearly at its closest to the sun.

The effect of a supermoon is a greater gravitational pull on the ocean, which results in very low tides and a king tide – the highest tide of any given year.

While the supermoon itself was a one night affair, tides will continue to be affected for two to three days which will affect some Half Moon Bay ferry sailings.

If you dozed off early and missed last night’s moon, don’t fret – there’s another two on the way in what NASA has dubbed the ‘Supermoon Trilogy’.

The next will grace our skies on January 2 – but it’s the third and final supermoon on January 31 that’ll be one to look out for.

That supermoon will also be a ‘blue moon’ – the second full moon in a calendar month.

If that wasn’t enough, in some parts of the world – including New Zealand – it will coincide with a lunar eclipse, making it both a blue moon and a ‘blood moon’ – where light passing through the Earth’s atmosphere is bent into a red hue.

The moon will move into the shadow of the Earth at 11:51pm, ahead of the full eclipse at 1:51am. By 5am, the moon will be back in the full light of the sun.

Ferry sailings affected:

Tuesday 5 December 2017

  • The 2.30pm service from Auckland to Half Moon Bay will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 3.30pm service from Auckland to Half Moon Bay will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 3.15pm service from Half Moon Bay to Auckland will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 4.15pm service from Half Moon Bay to Auckland will be replaced by a bus.

Wednesday 6 December 2017

  • The 2.30pm service from Auckland to Half Moon Bay will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 3.30pm service from Auckland to Half Moon Bay will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 4.15pm service from Auckland to Half Moon Bay will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 3.15pm service from Half Moon Bay to Auckland will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 4.15pm service from Half Moon Bay to Auckland will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 4.50pm service from Half Moon Bay to Auckland will be replaced by a bus.

Thursday 7 December 2017

  • The 3.15pm service from Auckland to Half Moon Bay will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 4.15pm service from Auckland to Half Moon Bay will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 5.15pm service from Auckland to Half Moon Bay will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 4.15pm services from Half Moon Bay to Auckland will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 4.50pm service from Half Moon Bay to Auckland will be replaced by a bus.
  • The 5.50pm service from Half Moon Bay to Auckland will be replaced by a bus.