Biggest full moon of year due this weekend
Anyone wishing to lasso the moon for their sweetheart will have no better opportunity than Saturday night, when Earth's satellite provides a larger and closer target than normal.
The moon will be closer to the Earth than it will be at any other time of the year, a phenomenon known as a lunar perigee.
And coincidentally the moon will become full just two minutes after it reaches its closest point at 11:35 p.m. ET, creating a phenomenon known as a "supermoon."
The confluence of proximity and fullness are expected to result in a rare opportunity for skywatchers and astronomers to view an especially big and bright moon.
The last supermoon occurred in March, 2011.
According to the Lunar Perigee and Apogee Calculator, a website linked to by NASA, the moon will be 356,953 kilometres from the Earth on Saturday night.
The moon will reach its apogee, or furthest distance from the Earth, 13 days later on May 19, when it will be positioned 406,450 kilometres away.
Then on Nov. 28, it will reach full moon status at its furthest distance from Earth -- 406,364 kilometres. That will result in a much smaller and darker full moon than the one expected on Saturday.
According to Richard Nolle, the astrologer who coined the term supermoon, the phenomenon occurs any time the moon is full, and comes within 90 per cent of its closest approach to Earth within a given orbit.
"In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth," Nolle explained in a blog.
According to Space.com, the Saturday full moon will rise around sunset and remain visible in the sky until sunrise -- the only time in May when the moon hangs in the sky all night without being visible during daylight hours.
While the supermoon is not expected to have any extreme weather of geological effects, it is expected to result in especially high and low tides in the world's oceans.