Astronomy

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"Super Moon" to Appear Saturday
 
A 'super moon' rises near the Lincoln Memorial on March 19, 2011

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A "super moon" rises near the Lincoln Memorial on March 19, 2011, in Washington, D.C. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

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› science.nasa.gov
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Check it out: the moon will be about 17,000 miles (27,359 kilometers) closer to Earth than usual this weekend.

If you're lucky enough to have clear skies, you'll see a full moon at its closest point to Earth since January 30 of last year. It will also be the largest “super moon” to occur for the rest of 2012.

The "super moon" May 5 will be about 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet when it become full at 11:35 p.m. EDT.

The average distance between the Earth and the moon is about 238,000 miles (383,024 km). The furthest point away is about 254,000 miles (408,773 km).

The technical term is perigee-syzygy and the occurrence is more technical than visible.

A full moon at its closest point to Earth will be big and bright. But it won't look much, if any, different than a "normal" full moon and have no readily observable effect on the planet except perhaps slightly higher tides.

The phenomena occur four to six times a year.

 
 
 
Michael Finneran
NASA Langley Research Center