SUPERMOON: A Bright Spot This Saturday Night - KMSP-TV

SUPERMOON: A Bright Spot This Saturday Night

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Meteorologist Steve Frazier Meteorologist Steve Frazier


You may be hearing all this talk about a big moon this weekend. Although the moon is the same size as it has always been, it will be closer and brighter than any other time this year.

The full moon falls on June 23, 2013 at 6:32 a.m. Minnesota time. Of course, a full moon can be better seen at night, but don't worry; it will appear almost as full on the evening of the 23rd. The term "Supermoon" refers to when the moon is full at the same time it is closest to the earth each month.

Not to get too scientific on you -- Apogee and Perigee refer to the distance from the Earth to the moon. Apogee is the farthest point from the earth. Perigee is the closest point to the earth. Of course, the closer the moon to the earth the larger it appears. Looking at the moon in the sky without anything to compare it to, you wouldn't notice any size difference. But the difference in size can in fact be quite significant. Check out this picture of the moon taken with the same lens, one during Apogee and one during Perigee.


The average distance of the moon from Earth is 237,700 miles. As luck would have it, the moon will also be full when it is at its closet this month and furthermore it will be the closest of 2013 to boot, 221,824 miles. Its not a rare event to have the moon full it its closet passing. In fact we won't have too much longer for it to happen again, and be even a bit closer. August 10, 2014 the moon will be 3 miles closer. The full moon will come even closer to Earth on September 28, 2015, and closer yet on November 14, 2016.

So, if you get a chance this Saturday evening check out the closest passing of a full moon this year. Not to sound like a commercial for laundry detergent, but the moon will appear about 14% larger and 30% brighter. Also, if you have a keen eye, you may notice the moon moving across the sky with a bit more pep, as it moves at it's fastest speed during Perigee.

The moonrise for this Saturday is 9:12 PM. Have a great time watching the skies this weekend!


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