Solstice Supermoon Blankets Us With Light
It’s the moon to end all moons, the biggest and brightest of 2013, and it will be sitting pretty in the sky overnight on Saturday June 22 to Sunday June 23.
This month’s full moon is also a perigee moon, meaning it is the closest that the moon comes to Earth during the satellite’s elliptical orbit. To boot, this year’s Supermoon, as it is known, comes right on the heels of the Summer Solstice, which happened on Friday June 21. (Related: Solstice and Supermoon Dominate This Weekend as Summer Arrives)
This is one light-filled weekend! Since the precise time that the moon becomes full on the East Coast of Turtle Island is 7:32 a.m. on Sunday June 23, the moon will appear full on both Saturday night the 22nd and Sunday night, NASA says. The precise moment of fullness will be 6:32 a.m. Central Daylight Time, 5:32 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time and 4:32 a.m. Pacific Daily Time, according to EarthSky.org.
A Supermoon is notable for being larger and brighter than a normal full moon. Tonight’s will be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter, NASA said in a statement. Supermoons happen every 14 months, but they do not always coincide with the full moon. It happens when the sun, Earth, and moon are aligned, with Earth in the middle. The moon has not been this close to Earth since 1993, NASA said.
“During perigee on 23 June the Moon will be ‘only’ about 221,824 miles away, as compared to the 252,581 miles away that it is at its furthest distance from the Earth (apogee),” NASA stated. “The Moon will actually be at apogee only two weeks after the Supermoon, on 7 July."
May’s full moon was also a Supermoon, EarthSky.org said, but it was not as big and eye-catching as this one coming up. That full moon came when the satellite was at its closest approach to Earth for the month; this one is as close as it will get all year.
Here on Earth, the tides will be a tad exaggerated, EarthSky.org said. But no one will be howling. Just train your eyes on the sky, relax and enjoy the view.