Thursday, May 03, 2012
Super Moon Saturday
On May 5th at 11:34 pm Eastern Daylight Time when the Moon reaches perigee the Moon will line up with Earth and the sun to become brilliantly full. Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee"). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright.
Super perigee Moons are actually fairly common. The Moon becomes full within a few hours of its closest approach to Earth about once a year on average. The last such coincidence occurred on March 19th, 2011, producing a full Moon that was almost 400 km closer than this one.