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Summer Of Supermoons

July 11, 2014

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Mike Marston

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The seasons will change before the next "normal" full moon will roam the sky. This is because a "supermoon," a full moon that is brighter and appears larger than a normal full moon, will illuminate the sky beginning this weekend, and again in August and September.

The relationship between the Earth and Moon is vital to understanding what a supermoon is, and why it occurs. Just as the Earth revolves around the Sun, making the trip in just over 365 days, our Moon revolves around the Earth once every 28 to 29 days. Its path is not a perfect circle, but instead elliptical, meaning that at one point every month, the Moon is closer to the Earth than at any other time. The average distance between the Earth and Moon is 234,855 miles and the closest distance, which is when a supermoon can occur is termed perigee and the distance is 223,700 miles.

There are some actual events that are associated with the supermoon. The moon appears in the sky to be as much as 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter in the sky. Additionally, the combined effect of the Sun and the Moon`s gravity causes the ocean`s tide to increase, sometimes by as much as 15 to 20 percent. This leads to waves being a few inches higher during a supermoon.

This year, the July 12 and September 9 full moons will line up within the same day as perigee, while the August 10th full moon will fall within an hour of perigee, making for an even brighter and larger looking moon.

With all of that being said, if you have the chance this weekend, check out the supermoon for yourself, and be sure to submit your photos to us through our mobile application or our photo section.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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Source: NASA Science News

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The super moon is seen in the night sky over Tel Aviv, Israel,

Source: Associated Press

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