Super full moon shines brightly this weekend (Update)

Jun 21, 2013
In this Saturday, May 5, 2012 file photo, a "supermoon" rises behind the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, Greece, southeast of Athens. The phenomenon occurs when the moon passes closer to Earth than usual. The event on Sunday, June 23, 2013 will make the moon appear 14 percent larger than normal, but the difference is so small that most skywatchers won't notice. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

A "supermoon" rises this weekend.

The biggest and brightest full moon of the year graces the sky early Sunday as our celestial neighbor swings closer to Earth than usual.

While the moon will appear 14 percent larger normal, skywatchers won't be able to notice the difference with the naked eye. Still, astronomers say it's worth looking up and appreciating the cosmos.

"It gets people out there looking at the moon, and might make a few more people aware that there's interesting stuff going on in the night sky," Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said in an email.

Some viewers may think the supermoon looks more dazzling but it's actually an optical illusion. The moon looms larger on the horizon next to trees and buildings.

The moon will come within 222,000 miles (360,000 kilometers) of Earth and turn full around 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT), making it the best time to view.

As in any supermoon event, high tides are forecast because of the moon's proximity, but the effect is expected to be small.

Forget about the myths that swirl every time a supermoon appears. There's no link to higher crime or bizarre behavior. Scientists say that's just lunacy.

Explore further: SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrives at space station

Related Stories

Big asteroid swinging by Earth has its own moon

May 30, 2013

Astronomers getting their first close-up glimpse of a giant asteroid about to whiz by Earth found a surprise bonus rock. A smaller moon asteroid is circling the larger space rock, an unusual but not unheard ...

Image: Super Perigee Moon

Mar 21, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The full moon is seen as it rises near the Lincoln Memorial, Saturday, March 19, 2011, in Washington.

Recommended for you

Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

57 minutes ago

A spacecraft that carries a sensor built at the University of Michigan is about to crash into the planet closest to the sun—just as NASA intended.

Dawn glimpses Ceres' north pole

2 hours ago

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken ...

A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

Apr 17, 2015

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view telesc ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

zz6549
not rated yet Jun 21, 2013
I first I thought the use of "lunacy" was a simple joke. But the term actually derives from the Latin "lunaticus", meaning "moonstruck", which means "craziness caused by the moon".

http://en.wiktion...unaticus
infiniteMadness
not rated yet Jun 22, 2013
yup, I knew that :)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.