It's a bird, it's a plane ...

May 04, 2012

If you look up Saturday and think the moon is brighter, it is. KJZZ’s Al Macias explains it will be the biggest and brightest of the year.

AL MACIAS: At 11:34 p.m. Saturday the moon will be about 221,800 miles from Earth. That's about 15,000 miles closer than normal.  It’s often called a supermoon, the point when the moon passes closest to the Earth in its annual elliptical orbit. The name was coined by an astrologer 30 years ago.  Astronomers prefer the more scientifically correct term, perigee-syzygy. The moon will appear larger when it’s lowest on the horizon, even though it never actually changes size. This is known as either a moon illusion or the Ponzo illusion. The supermoon will bring unusually high tides because of its closeness and its alignment with the sun and earth. If you miss tonight’s supermoon, the next time the moon will be this close to earth will be June 23, 2013 -- although it will be about 21 miles further away.

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