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Tonight's Supermoon Closer to Earth Than It's Been All Year

by on June 22, 2013 8:58 PM

Tonight the moon will be closer to the earth than it has been all year. Watchers can take a look from moonrise at 8 p.m. to moonset around 5 a.m.

The moon will appear larger and brighter, and it’s being called an extreme supermoon because it has not been this close to the earth in many months.

The moon appears this way every 13 to 14 months. Its exact position fluctuates due to earth's oval-shaped orbit. 

“It’s certainly a phenomenon,” says Erik Pindrock, an Accuweather.com meteorologist.

“It will appear anywhere from 12 to 14 percent larger tonight, than it will next month.”

To be a called a supermoon, the moon has to reach 90-percent or more of its distance to the earth. Tonight’ s moon is called extreme because it will be at 100-percent.

If you're going to watch the extreme supermoon tonight, it is best to go to a place where the sky is clearest. An empty parking lot would suffice. 

“If you are trying to get some good pictures certainly somewhere where it is darker, without light pollution would be the best place to go,” Pindrock says.

There was a supermoon last month but not of the same size or brightness. Next month, the full moon will reach a distance of 252,300 miles away from the earth.

Tonight the moon will be 221,800 miles away. That's a difference of 30,500 miles. 

State College skies should be relatively clear tonight -- fittingly a perfect night for moon-watchers. 



Cynthia Hill is a Penn State student who's working as an intern for StateCollege.com
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