Perigee full moon: Sunday's supermoon to bring stellar sight

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's... a supermoon?

You read that right.  One of the biggest celestial events of the year, the supermoon, is set to peak this Sunday.

Also known as a perigee full moon, Sunday's moon will be the largest supermoon this year.

According to earthsky.org , a supermoon occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are all in a line called the lunar perigee. For a supermoon to occur, the moon must be in its nearest approach to Earth as it traces its elliptical path around our planet.

Earthsky reports astrologer Richard Nolle of the website astropro.com takes credit for coining the term supermoon.  Nolle says there are four to six supermoons a year on average.

But what makes Sunday's supermoon so special is it falls only 22 minutes after the moon reaches perigee, the moon's closest point to Earth for this month and year. In essence, it will be the closest and largest full moon of the year.

The moon will not be this close again until August 2014.

For some context: At perigee, the moon lies only 356,991 kilometers (221,824 miles) away. Two weeks later, on July 7, the moon will swing out to apogee – its farthest point for the month and year – at 406,490 kilometers (252,581 miles) distant.

The moon will turn full at 7:32 a.m. (Eastern Time) Sunday. It will reach its closest point to the Earth 22 minutes earlier and will be visible after the sun sets that evening, Earthsky reports .

So make sure you go outside Sunday night to catch a glimpse of this stellar sight.

You can watch live coverage of the event on June 23 at  http://events.slooh.com/ .

Print this article Back to Top

Comments