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June 22, 2013

Super full moon shines brightly this weekend

LOS ANGELES — A “supermoon” rises this weekend.

The biggest and brightest full moon of the year graces the sky early Sunday as our celestial neighbor swings closer to Earth than usual.

While the moon will appear 14 percent larger normal, skywatchers won’t be able to notice the difference with the naked eye. Still, astronomers say it’s worth looking up and appreciating the cosmos.

“It gets people out there looking at the moon, and might make a few more people aware that there’s interesting stuff going on in the night sky,” Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said in an email.

Some viewers may think the supermoon looks more dazzling but it’s actually an optical illusion. The moon looms larger on the horizon next to trees and buildings.

The moon will come within 222,000 miles of Earth and turn full around 7:30 a.m. EDT, making it the best time to view.

As in any supermoon event, high tides are forecast because of the moon’s proximity, but the effect is expected to be small.

Forget about the myths that swirl every time a supermoon appears. There’s no link to higher crime or bizarre behavior. Scientists say that’s just lunacy.

 

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