Science

Heads up! Supermoon coming Saturday; 3 this summer

Posted July 11
Updated July 12

Full moon photo taken from our front porch last night in Cary. (Photo by Joe Colson)

— The full moon on Saturday will appear to be unusually big. In fact, it will be a "supermoon."

That's the nickname for full moons that happen when our celestial neighbor is relatively close to Earth. That distance varies because the moon follows an elliptical orbit. When it's close and full, it appears bigger and brighter than normal, although in fact the difference can be hard to detect. Report It logo 640x480 Send us your Supermoon photos

If you see Saturday's moon close to the horizon it may seem huge, but that's just an illusion caused by its position in the sky.

Two other full moons this summer, on Aug. 10 and Sept. 9, are also supermoons.

It's not all that unusual to have a supermoon. There were three in a row last year.

___

Online:

NASA on supermoons: http://1.usa.gov/1jxZkPt

5 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • jmoxley2010 Jul 11, 5:31 p.m.

    Does it make people Supermoon crazy?

  • Damien Thorned Jul 11, 4:20 p.m.

    You mean it won't have a big "S" on it?

    Well, the moon is always cool, no matter the phase or... View More

    — Posted by Lightfoot3

    Favorite time of being on the lake, right after sunrise and right before sunset. That few minutes in time where the water becomes like glass and you can skip across the water in the boat or jetski.

    Have you ever noticed that the bugs go home at 11 pm? An old man told me that once and I laughed, but have found that to be accurate when I think to notice it.

  • NoMoreOfThat Jul 11, 3:29 p.m.

    Cool thing to see.

  • jdpridg Jul 11, 2:46 p.m.

    By itself, this is not unusual. And tho the moon really isn't doing anything unusual itself, from earth it looks likes it's very active. Add the three super moons to the four blood moons and a solar eclipse, and you would think the moon is out of control.
    Btw, really cool story lightfoot.

  • Lightfoot3 Jul 11, 1:06 p.m.

    You mean it won't have a big "S" on it?

    Well, the moon is always cool, no matter the phase or distance. I LOVED playing outside at night as a kid, when the moon was out. During the last full moon my wife and I stayed on the lake with our ski boat until after 11pm. Just floating, listening to the whip-poor-wills, with the moon lighting up the lake and landscape with an eerie glow. We basically had the lake to ourselves.