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Posted at 12:32 PM ET, 03/18/2011

Super moon: It’s coming this weekend


PETROS GIANNAKOURIS AP The full moon rises behind the ancient temple of Posseidon, in Sounio about 73 kilometers (45 miles) south-east of Athens, on Thursday, July 21, 2005. Tonight's full moon appear bigger than usual, as the distance between the Earth and its only natural satellite was the closest until 2007, at about 357290 km (223306 miles). (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
Skywatchers are going to be treated to a rare astronomical event on Saturday: The biggest full moon since 1983. As the Capital Weather Gang explains, the phenomenon is known as a “super moon.”

“The moon will appear large because it’s reaching its ’perigree,’ the closest approach to earth in its orbit. According to NASA, perigree moons are 14% bigger and 30% brighter than moons on the ‘apogee’ side of the moon’s orbit, when it is farthest away from earth. What’s special about Saturday’s perigree moon is that it’s almost coinciding with a full moon, a relatively rare occurrence. Some refer to this coincidence as a ‘supermoon.’”

Some believe the super moon is associated with natural disasters, but Capital Weather Gang says there is little scientific evidence to back up that view.

By  |  12:32 PM ET, 03/18/2011

 
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