WASHINGTON, July 12, 2014 — Last night sky gazers were treated to the first Super Moon of 2014, and it was clear, bright and beautiful in a dark sky with, in the Washington night, feathery cloud threads framing its brilliance.
Last night’s moon reached it first “super” status, and it repeats tonight. NASA explains that a super, or “perigee” moon occurs when the moon turns full just as it hits the spot in its elliptical orbit when it is closest to the Earth.
This celestial coincidence will make the orb appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an ordinary full moon.
If you miss the super moon tonight, the next two appearances will be Aug. 10 and Sept. 9, when the moon will be about 30,000 miles closer to the Earth than at its farthest point, or its apogee. August 10 will be the biggest show as the moon turns full not only the same day, but during the same hour as perigee.
A great video that explains the phenomenon, good for adults and kids:
The super moon caught the eye of people all over the world, and they shared those images via social media using the #SuperMoon on Twitter:
Supermoon rising over Earth this weekend pic.twitter.com/mTnDcXnKCz
— RT America (@RT_America) July 11, 2014