Another “Supermoon” Tonight

The biggest and brightest full moon of 2014 will be seen tonight, assuming clouds get out of the way. A partly to occasionally mostly cloudy sky is expected tonight.

Just be advised today’s full moon occurred at 1:09 p.m. local time, so we won’t see it the exact moment it’s at its brightest. But it will still be called a “supermoon” since the moon will be about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the dimmest full moon.

The moon will be 221,765 miles away during this close approach to Earth, known as a perigee, versus 252,634 miles away at its apogee. That’s around 31,000 miles closer than at apogee!

“Supermoons” are not as rare as one might think since we had three of them last year. There will be one more this summer, and a total of five “supermoons” this year. The name “supermoon” was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle. There is a long history of “supermoons” in astrology and other types of mythology, but its effects on the Earth are really quite limited. Other than the moon appearing slightly bigger and brighter, tides will be somewhat higher around the world tonight because of an effect called “perigean spring tides.” But this effect is pretty weak.

In any case, enjoy the show!

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