Friday, June 21, 2013

You Aren't Imagining It: That's A 'Supermoon' This Weekend



The May 2012 supermoon, seen from Gainesville Fla.
(AP Photo/The Gainesville Sun, Matt Stamey)


The moon really will appear larger and brighter than usual this weekend. In fact, this weekend's moon will be the "super moon" of 2013.  This occurs because two key points in the lunar cycle will coincide early Sunday morning -- the moon will both be a full moon and at its closest point to Earth in the 29.5-day cycle.

The perigee -- the name for the point in a lunar cycle when the moon is nearest to Earth -- will occur at 7:11 a.m. Sunday, when the body will be 356,911 kilometers, or 221,774 miles, from Earth. This has been referred to as the "Supermoon"; a phenomenon that happens about every 413 days.

The next time a full moon and perigee coincide so closely isn't until August 2014.

According to NASA,  the best time for viewing is when the moon is on the horizon. Because full moon and perigee coincide Sunday morning (after the moon has set for the day), Saturday night, early Sunday and Sunday evening should all provide big, bright moons. The times to remember, according to the Naval Observatory: Moonrises occur at 7:45 p.m. Saturday and 8:43 p.m. Sunday; moonset is at 5:47 a.m. Sunday.

Full Moon dates and times for NYC for 2013 appear here

A June full moon is commonly called the Mead Moon, Rose Moon, Honey Moon or Strawberry Moon.
More on the names for Full Moons throughout the year here

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