June 21, 2013

'Supermoon' swings extra close to Earth

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - A "supermoon" rises this weekend.

click image to enlarge

Gracing the sky above the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, Greece, is a classic “supermoon.”

The Associated Press

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, sky watchers 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 appears to loom larger on the horizon next to trees and buildings.

The moon will come within 222,000 miles of Earth and turn full around 7:30 a.m. EDT, 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.

 

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