'Supermoon' to light the sky this weekend

Phenomenon caused by nearness,brightness of moon

TAMPA - The phenomenon commonly referred to as a 'supermoon' will occur Sunday, June 23.  It will be the closest the moon passes to the Earth during this calendar year.

Tim Hill, the planetarium manager at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, says the moon will reach its perigee this weekend.  The perigee is the closest point to the Earth in the moon's somewhat elliptical orbit around our planet.

The convergence of a perigee and a full moon creates the conditions for an unusually bright and large moon in the sky, hence the name supermoon.

Hill says the next supermoon will not occur until August of 2014.

For the best chance to view the occurrence in person in the Tampa Bay area, Hill suggests looking toward the western sky from 5:30 to 6:00 Sunday morning.

"It's brilliant, so people should definitely check it out," Hill said.

The perigee will bring the moon about 16,000 miles closer to the Earth. Even at that point, the moon will still be over 200,000 miles away from our planet.

To see live streaming video of the supermoon on Sunday, visit http://events.slooh.com/ .

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