Good news for the Memorial Day weekend, the official kick-start to summer: You’ll have more beach to lie out on. And a huge moon to gaze upon at night.

Shooting the moon

Tips for photographing Saturday’s full moon:

Start shooting at moonrise when the moon is closer to the horizon and appears larger. Using a lens with a focal length longer than 150 mm will also make the moon appear larger. A tripod will help prevent camera shake.

Frame the photo so there is something in the foreground. This gives the photo a sense of place and scale. Check out tonight’s moonrise to find a good spot.

Use manual settings and vary your shutter speed and aperture. Using a smaller aperture, such as f/5.6 or f/8, will allow the foreground and the moon to be more in focus.

Tom Spain

Saturday’s moon will be the first of three “supermoons” expected this summer. That’s a full moon when the moon is near perigee, or its closest point to earth. Here’s what it means:

The beach

It will be wider.

At low tide Saturday afternoon, the surf will drop nearly a foot below normal depth. That translates to “a fair amount of real estate” down the slope of the sand, said Frank Alsheimer, National Weather Service meteorologist in Charleston.

Of course, it also means that high tide will swallow the beach. Today and Sunday will be nearly as high and low. Monday won’t be as dramatic.

The view

The moon will seem gigantic on the horizon, rising or setting.

The moon

Today — Rises 7:59 p.m.; mostly clear skies.

Saturday — 9:05 p.m.; mostly clear skies.

Sunday — 10:07 p.m.; partly cloudy.


Tides will cover the marshes to the roadside. High tide Saturday is expected to rise within a tenth of a foot of the point where coastal flood advisories are issued. Tonight and Sunday are expected nearly as high.

“We’re certainly going to have to watch out for coastal flooding,” Alsheimer said.

High, low tide

At Charleston Harbor

Today — Highs 7:47 a.m., 8:26 p.m. Lows 1:55 a.m., 1:59 p.m.

Saturday — Highs 8:42 a.m., 9:19 p.m. Lows 2:47 a.m., 2:51 p.m.

Sunday — Highs 9:38 a.m., 10:13 p.m. Lows 3:39 a.m., 3:43 p.m.

The really big moon

This one is expected on June 23, when the full orb gets as close as it will this season. The third supermoon will come July 22.

Weird fact

Two Texas State University astronomers have speculated that a super supermoon might have led to the infamous sinking of the H.M.S. Titanic.

They said the January 1912 rise of the most extreme supermoon in 1,400 years would have spurred extreme tides that cracked icebergs from a Greenland glacier, then pushed them farther south than usual, into the shipping lanes where the Titanic smacked into one in April.

National Weather Service,, Texas State University,