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Saturday’s Supermoon to be Larger Than Life

posted: 08/28/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Supermoon rising
pjsells/iStock

If you look at the moon on Saturday evening and think that it's larger than usual, you're not going crazy -- something is definitely different.

Despite its spectacular appearance, the moon is (obviously) the same size that it's always been. What has changed, however, is its position relative to Earth. Because the moon's orbit around our planet is shaped like an oval, it's closer to Earth at certain times than others.

Technically known as perigee, this closest approach is truly spectacular when it falls on a full moon -- an event colloquially dubbed "supermoon". A larger-than-life supermoon shines up to 30 times brighter and is up to 15% larger than a micromoon, TimeandDate reports.

This weekend's supermoon is the first of three coming this autumn, the largest of which will fall on September 28, according to earthsky.org. The September event will also feature a stunning blood moon.

The opposite phenomenon -- when the moon is farthest away from the Earth -- is known as apogee, and produces a noticeably smaller micromoon.

Learn more about space:

show more details
A Study of Two Moons
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