Posted 8 August 2014 by Andrew Gardner
Sussex stargazers will be treated to more supermoons in the next couple of months. But first, could I just point out that a 'supermoon' happens when a full or new moon passes closest to Earth (hence the old name of perigee moon) and therefore becomes larger and brighter to the eye - it's not something to do at closing time after too much Sussex bitter. And the term comes from astrology, not true astronomy. You might have seen photos in the media of the fabulous supermoon earlier this year and since it's now closer to us than at any time in the last 22 years or thereabouts, we should be in for a treat.
So when you're on holiday in Sussex (click here to view our cottages), look skywards on 10th August or, if you miss that one, 9th September - but apparently the August one is the closest and best, so let's hope for a clear sky. If you're staying in a seaside cottage, look out too for the perigean tide - in other words, the high tide caused by this powerful moon.
I'll be intrigued to see if all this has any effect on the garden. Recently I read a fascinating article about the system of planting and gardening according to the moon - the argument being that if the moon can affect tides and the gravitational pull of water, this must also be happening underground and would affect the growing and nurturing of plants, especially vegetables. I like this idea very much, although to make the most of it presumably you'd have to be available to dig and plant whenever the moon dictated, and not just at the weekends or on those all-too-rare days off work.
Fast-forward to October and we have yet another moon event in store - this time a black moon. This is also a non-astronomy sort of name, but an evocative one nonetheless. Unsurprisingly it's not really black either: it's a term, possibly Wiccan, for the second new moon in one month and alternative names are the spinner's moon, finder's moon or secret moon. All of which carry such an irresistible air of mystery and romance that I've noted it in my diary and will be out there looking skywards. Do join me in spirit, wherever you're staying in Sussex.