Saturday, March 19, 2011

'Supermoon' Saturday

Pull yourselves away from Facebook and your iPhones tonight and just stare at the sky:
As the sun sets in the west on Saturday, the biggest, brightest moon in about 20 years will be begin peeking over the Eastern horizon. The so-called "supermoon" will appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than normal, according to NASA. Because the moon's orbit is oval, there is a point where it is the closest to the Earth, known as its perigee. The farthest point is known as its apogee. On Saturday, the moon's closest perigee of the year happens to occur within one hour of the monthly astronomical phase of the full moon, which together will create the rarely seen spectacle of illumination and size, said Geoff Chester, an astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. "It will be the closest full moon we've had since 1993, so if you want to wait another 19 years or so for your next crack at it, then do so," Chester said. "But it's a great excuse to go out and look at the moon."


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