Tonight, if the full moon, rising in the East, strikes you as unusually large, you’ll be right. It will loom larger than usual. Though it’s hardly a scientific term, it will be what’s known as a “supermoon.”
If the weather is clear where you are, it should be a sight to see. It happens because — despite what our senses tell us — the moon does not orbit us in a perfect circle. It follows a slightly elliptical path every month. At 11:35 p.m. EDT, say astronomers, it will come within 221,802 miles of us — coincidentally about one minute before it’s at its fullest.
The result: When the moon is closest to Earth, it appears 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than when it’s farthest from us.(Pic:The “supermoon” of March 19, 2011, seen from England. Ben Birchall/PA/AP Photo.)