Supermoon at its peak Saturday

Supermoon at its peak Saturday

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

A supermoon rises next to the ancient Greek temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, some 65 kilometers south of Athens, on June 23, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)


by KGW Staff and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 7:56 AM

Updated Saturday, Jul 12 at 4:38 PM

The full moon this weekend will be another so-called "Supermoon," the first of three to grace the sky this year. Since the moon is "fullest" early Saturday morning, you can look for the Supermoon both Friday and Saturday nights.

KGW Meteorologist Nick Allard said the moon was already impressive very early Friday morning, and with mostly clear skies expected Friday night, it should only get better.

"We’ll see a few clouds tonight and early tomorrow morning," he said Friday. "But we should have partly cloudy skies to view the moon with."

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"Overall the illusion is very cool and one I look forward to seeing!" Allard said.

Check out Your Pics of the Supermoon in 2012

A Supermoon occurs when the moon is somewhat closer to Earth than it typically is, and the effect is most noticeable when it occurs at the same time as a full moon, according to James Garvin, chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

The other Supermoons will be in August and September. The one on Aug. 10 will be the biggest of the year, as the moon will be closest to Earth on that day.

The best time to look at the full moon is when it's near the horizon. That is when illusion mixes with reality to produce a truly stunning view, NASA reports. Low-hanging moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects.

Photos: Supermoon around the world

Supermoon is a relatively recent term, likely first coined by an astrologer about 30 years ago, reports EarthSky's Bruce McClure. Before that, "we called them a perigee full moon...Perigee just means 'near Earth,'" he writes.

If you're tired of the Supermoon hysteria, other names for the July, August and September full moons are the Buck, Sturgeon and Corn Moon, respectively, reports David Dickinson of Universe Today.

More from NASA: Three Supermoons in a row