2012 May 05
On Saturday (May 5) at 11:35 p.m. EDT, the moon will officially turn full. And only 25 minutes later the moon will also arrive at perigee, its closest approach to Earth — a distance of 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) away.
The effect of this coincidence is a stunning skywatching sight called the “supermoon.”
In fact, this month’s perigee is the closest of any perigee in 2012 (they vary by about 3 percent, because the moon’s orbit is not perfectly circular). The result will be a 16 percent brighter-than-average full moon accompanied by unusually high and low tides this weekend and into the new week.
In contrast, later this year, on Nov. 28, the full moon will closely coincide with apogee, the moon’s farthest point from Earth.
By: Milky way scientists
Enjoy the moon’s splendor tonight and . . .
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