June 12, 2013 9:01 pm

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s Super-Moon!

Comparison of March 29 2011 supermoon with average moon on left

The supermoon of March 19, 2011 (right), compared to an average moon of December 20, 2010 (left). Note the size difference. Image Credit: Marco Langbroek, the Netherlands, via Wikimedia Commons.

Got ya, didn’t I? You thought, with Man of Steel opening this Friday, that I was going to write about the latest spectacular object to streak across our sky.

Well, I am, sort of, but only if I continue to torture this dying horse. (After all, the Moon hardly “streaks.”) But if you look up at the Moon on either June 22 or June 23, you’re in for a rare lunar treat.

Have you ever gazed at the Moon and thought, “Am I going crazy, or does the Moon look bigger than normal?” Well, if you have, and it happened to be the right time, then no, you’re not going crazy. (Of course, if it wasn’t the night of a Super Moon, all bets are off.)

Super Moons, or “perigee full moons” occur when the Moon’s orbit brings our satellite closest to the Earth at the same time that the Moon is fully illuminated by the sun.  Last month’s full moon, which blew out retinas on May 24-25, was also a super moon. Of course, perigee varies, and therefore so do supermoons. And June’s supermoon will be the closest to Earth for all of 2013.

This month, here in the US, the exact moment of the Super Moon is early June 23 at 7:32 a.m. EDT, 6:32 a.m. CDT, 5:32 a.m. MDT and 4:32 a.m. PDT.

By the way, if you want to know all about supermoons, including perigee distances, future dates, a map of lunar visibility and more, check out EarthSky.org’s “Most “super” supermoon of 2013 on June 22-23.”

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons


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