If you like gazing at the night sky and thinking about what's out there, tonight is a special night. For the only time this year, the moon will appear much bigger and brighter than normal, in what astonomers call a 'supermoon.'
A supermoon occurs because the moon's orbit is slightly elliptical, causing it to come closer to Earth at certain points in its orbit. When reaching its closest point coincides with a full moon, the moon can appear about 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a normal full moon. Before tonight, this last occurred in March of last year, creating a spectacular view.
One side effect of the closer pass is a slight increase in the moon's gravitational pull, which some have blamed for triggering floods, volcanoes and earthquakes. Scientists say that there is little hard scientific evidence for this, but I'm sure we know what will get the blame if the big one hits somewhere tonight.
Astronomers say that the supermoon effect is greatest when the moon is low in the sky. Now all I need to do is find a way to get away from all the lights of the city.
Via CBS News