Summer of the supermoon

July’s full moon is one of five super moons in 2014. The supermoon occurs when the moon becomes full on the same days as its perigee, which is the point in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth. Night owls, stargazers, and early morning risers will be able to feast their eyes on more lunar showings soon. The next two supermoons are scheduled for August 10 and September 9, according to NASA.

 

UPDATE (September 9, 2014): There will be clear skies and breathtaking views tonight as the fifth supermoon of the year rises. Tonight's moon is also known as the Harvest Moon due to its proximity to the autumnal equinox.

A supermoon can appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter at its closest point, mainly because of its unusually close approach to Earth in its elliptical orbit. 

Did you know? When the moon formed 4.5 billion years ago (according to the "giant impact" theory, it was much closer to Earth, perhaps as little as 16,000 miles away. It became tidally locked to Earth within a few million years. These days, the moon is now 240,000 miles away (although a supermoon is about 30,000 miles closer).

 

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