Supermoon 2013: Year's Largest Lunar Display To Light Up Weekend

Friday, 21 Jun 2013 12:31 PM

By Ken Mandel

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The largest full moon of 2013, "Supermoon," will make its debut in the sky this weekend, Space.com reported.

On Sunday, at 7 a.m. ET, the moon will arrive at perigee – the point in its orbit that brings it closest to Earth, a distance of 221,824 miles.

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The moon typically reaches this proximity once, and sometimes twice every month, but Sunday's lunar perigee will be the celestial body's closest distance to Earth for the year. A little more than a half-hour later, the moon will get full.

The timing of the perigee and the full phase create the year's largest full moon, or the event known as a "supermoon," according the website Space.com.

Astrologer Richard Nolle is credited with coining the term "supermoon" in 1979.

SPACE.com will air a free webcast of the 2013 supermoon Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, using their Slooh Space Camera.

On Sunday, the moon will seem about 12.2 percent larger than it will appear Jan. 16, 2014, when it will the furthest from Earth during its apogee.

An Extreme Supermoon happens when the new or full moon is at 100 percent greater mean perigee, which will occur since the moon will pass 356,991 kilometers from the Earth, closer than its usual distance of 384,400 kilometers.

The clearest viewing spots in the United States are the Desert Southwest, the lower Ohio Valley into the mid-Atlantic and southern New England. The Upper Midwest will have the worst conditions, as rain and thunderstorms are expected in the area overnight.

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