Super full moon shines brightly this weekend


FILE - In this Saturday, May 5, 2012 file photo, a "supermoon" rises behind the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, Greece, southeast of Athens. The phenomenon occurs when the moon passes closer to Earth than usual. The event on Sunday, June 23, 2013 will make the moon appear 14 percent larger than normal, but the difference is so small that most skywatchers won’t notice. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis) | Zoom

LOS ANGELES (AP) - 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 than normal, sky watchers 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 (357,000 kilometers) of Earth and turn full around 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT), 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.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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