It won't look this big, but it will be "super." (File photo of the far side of the moon, taken by astronauts aboard the Apollo 16 mission, on July 10, 1972.)
It won't look this big, but it will be "super." (File photo of the far side of the moon, taken by astronauts aboard the Apollo 16 mission, on July 10, 1972.) NASA/Getty Images
Get outside if you can Saturday evening and look up. Something that only happens a couple times in most people's lives should be putting on a pretty good show (and we can all use a break from the news of late).
As NASA's Science News explains, a "super moon" will be dominating the sky.
Basically, there's a fairly rare happy coincidence: a full moon just as our lunar neighbor's orbit brings it as close to Earth as it gets.
So the moon will appear much larger than normal, especially when it's close to the horizon and what NASA calls the "moon illusion" sort of tricks our eyes into making it seem especially big.
At NationalGeographic.com, astronomer Geza Gyuk of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago says the super moon will be visible "pretty much any time during the night." But he recommends that we "look for the full moon as it rises above the eastern horizon as the sun sets below the western horizon — it will be a beautiful and inspiring sight."
Here is NASA's video explanation:
By the way, NASA also says a super moon has very little effect on Earth's tides.