Moon Phases: 'Super Moon' To Rise This Weekend [VIDEO]
This weekend, stay tuned for the most stunning moon of 2013.
According to National Geographic, the moon will be its closest distance to Earth for 2013 while in its full phase. This will result in a "supermoon," where Earth's natural satellite will appear larger and brighter in the night sky.
The month's full moon is always round and plump, but because the moon's orbit around Earth is an elliptical - meaning it does not revolve in a circle - there are moments when the moon is the closest to the earth (perigee) and farthest from the Earth (apogee). The moon's orbit also varies slightly, so the proximity of distance fluxes month to month.
For this weekend's supermoon perigee, the moon will be at 356,991 kilometers, a bit closer than the average 364,000 kilometer distance.
"The exact moment when the moon is at perigee, it will be overhead in the southern Pacific Ocean," Anthony Cook, an astronomical observer at Los Angeles's Griffith Conservatory, told National Geographic. "The western portion of the Americas will see this at sunrise/moonset, while the eastern portion of Asia/Australia will see it at sunset/moonrise."
Supermoons are not extremely rare. The alignment between full moon and perigee occurs every year.
Astronomers say that the 2014 supermoon will be even more spectacular than this one. The perigee will be closer - at a record-breaking 356,896 kilometers from Earth.
Although the moon will be full and closest to Earth, there will be no "super-effects" on the tide. "When the full or new moon occurs near perigee, there is a slightly stronger effect on the tides," said astronomer Mark Hammergren. "There have been coastal floods associated with storms hitting near spring tide at the time of perigee."
Check out NASA's flick below to find out more details on supermoon.