Super Full Moon Will Appear at Sunset Tonight

Posted on March 19, 2011

Be sure to go outside at sunset today: NASA reports that tonight at sunset you will be able to see a Super Full Moon. Full Moons look different in size because of the elliptical shape of the Moon's orbit around the Earth. One side of the ellipse is the perigee, which is approximately 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other side (the apogee).

Tonight's moon will be the largest that it has looked in nearly two decades. The full moon tonight will occur less than one hour away from perigee, which is a coincidence that happens only every eighteen years or so. If you look at the moon as it rises, it will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than regular full moons. Photographers won't want to miss this opportunity.

NASA says that perigee moons do have some effect on tides, but that they do not cause natural disasters despite the fact that Japan just suffered a huge earthquake and tsunami. NASA has a video explaining what happens during a Super Full Moon. Take a look: