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The Post  
 
Supermoon Will Rise in Philadelphia Skies Saturday Night
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 05/05/12 6:28 pm | updated: 05/05/12 6:28 pm
 
This weekend's night skies will be especially bright with the biggest full moon of the year peaking on Saturday night at 11:35 PM. It's called the "super moon". A super moon is when a full moon coincides with the moon's "perigee" or its closest approach to Earth. The moon's orbit is not a perfect circle around the Earth, so sometimes of the month it is closer than others.

This month’s full moon happens to occur very close to the perigee, making it 16% brighter than normal, and 2% brighter than the super moon in March 2011. Tonight, viewers will see the moon at it's closest 221,802 miles from Earth.

The best time to look is when the moon is low in the sky, after it rises in the easy at 7:49 PM Sat or before it sets in the west at 6:03 AM Sun. At both these times, you can see the moon behind objects on the horizon (trees and buildings), creating that optical illusion of an even larger moon. It may also appear orange because its light has to travel through more atmosphere to reach your eyes, thus refracting out blue, red, and green wavelengths of color.

The super moon has a stronger gravitational pull, resulting in higher than normal tides. However, since there aren't any major storms the tides aren't a concern.

Tonight's weather is not perfect for viewing, partly/mostly cloudy skies expected, but you you still be able to see the moon if clouds break any.

 
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