The nickname supermoon is given to full moons that occur when the moon is at its closest point in orbit around the earth.
This weekend the moon shone brighter and appeared to be bigger than usual. The first of three supermoons was witnessed on Saturday night. August 10 will mark for the closest supermoon of the year 2014.
‘Perigee supermoon’ is the term attributed to explain the phenomenon when the moon appears larger and brighter in the sky owing to its elliptical orbit of Earth. It is caused by an illusion where the observer is viewing the moon on the horizon.
“It’s a real effect, but it’s fairly small,” said Greg Laughlin, an astronomer at University of California, Santa Cruz. “You kind of have to take detailed photographs and line up the photographs to see that effect. It’s very difficult to remember how large the last full moon was.”
“I guarantee that some folks will think it’s the biggest moon they’ve ever seen if they catch it rising over a distant horizon, because the media will have told them to pay attention to this particular one,” Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said.
In fact, Chester thinks just knowing about the supermoon makes the Earth’s satellite seem more magnificent.
The supermoon was also seen in Cambria, California.
Two more supermoons are being predicted this summer on August 10 and September 9.