Watch Out for ‘Supermoon’ – Biggest Moon of 2013 Visible This Weekend

The moon can be spotted Saturday night and early Sunday, according to scientists. Bonus: You can spot the space station Friday night too.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Though the weekend is predicted to be partly cloudy in Santee and the rest of San Diego, we could get a view of the moon at its fullest late Saturday and early Sunday. 

The “supermoon” will the closest and fullest full moon of the year.

The supermoon will be fullest in the west at 4:32 a.m. Sunday, June 23, but in the night’s sky it will appear full on the evening of Saturday, June 22, according to EarthSky.org.
Before that, according to NASA, you also can spot the International Space Station locally late Friday at 10:22 p.m. But you only have one minute to look at the NW night sky and spot it at 73 degrees.

The perigee full moon gets its name because the term perigee describes the moon’s closest point to the earth during any month. The term supermoon has been used more often since 2011. (According to EarthSky an astrologer, not an astronomer coined the term.)  

There was a supermoon during May 2013, but EarthSky says this month’s full moon will be even more super than normal, since it will be the closest the moon gets to Earth for the entire year.

The moon will be just 221,824 miles away from us, according to Astronomy magazine's website.

This month’s perigee moon is special because the crest of the moon’s full phase and perigee fall within an hour of each other, EarthSky says. With the change in distance the moon will appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter to our eyes than at its minimum size and brightness.

And, though the lunar pull will be at its maximum, there should be no cause for alarm, the changes will be imperceptible, EarthSky reports. (Though you are free to howl at the moon if it makes you happy).

Our next close encounter with a supermoon will be on Aug. 10, 2014, according to EarthSky.org.


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