Summer's brightest supermoon to shine this weekend
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, August 8, 2014 12:24PM EDT
The summer’s biggest and brightest "supermoon" will rise above the horizon this weekend.
At about 1:44 p.m. ET on Sunday, the moon will orbit closer to the earth than usual, making it appear larger and more luminous. The scientific term for the phenomenon is "perigee moon."
On Aug. 10, the moon will appear fullest in the early afternoon, at about 2:10 p.m. ET. But the best viewing time for Canadians will be just after sunset in their time zone. The supermoon is supposed to look most impressive as it comes up over the horizon.
According to NASA’s website, the moon has an uneven orbit that brings it closer to the earth at some points and farther away at others.
At its closest point to earth, its "perigee," the moon is about 50,000 kilometres closer than at its farthest point, called the "apogee." This can make a full moon look dramatically bigger when it’s close to earth, creating a supermoon.
Supermoons occur about once every 13 months, NASA’s website says, but there are actually three forecast for this summer—the last happened on July 12, and there will be another on Sept. 9. Sunday’s moon will be even closer than either of those.
In fact, the moon won’t be this close to the earth again until next September.
This weekend’s supermoon will be so spectacular that it may outshine another night sky phenomenon.
The Perseid meteor shower will peak Tuesday. The yearly shower normally has some of the year’s brightest shooting stars. This year, though, the still-bright moon may make it more difficult for star gazers to watch the shower.