'Supermoon' set to light Sunday night
MANILA, Philippines – The largest full moon of 2013 is set to light up the night sky on Sunday, June 23.
The so-called “supermoon” will take place at past 7 pm, Philippine time.
In science terms, it is called "perigee moon": the moon is approaching the perigee of its orbit around our planet - approximately 356,955 kilometers from Earth. An average of 4 to 6 perigee moons occur in a year, and this is the closest it will be this year.
“Sunday's lunar perigee will be the moon's closest to Earth of 2013. And 32 minutes later, the moon will officially turn full. The close timing of the moon's perigee and its full phase are what will bring about the biggest full moon of the year, a celestial event popularly defined by some as a "supermoon,” Space.com reported.
On Sunday's supermoon, Space.com said that the moon will appear about 12.2 percent larger than it will look on January 16, 2014, when it will be farthest from the Earth during its apogee.
It also said that Sunday’s full moon will have a significant effect on the tides.
“We have already noted that this month the moon is 12.2 percent closer at perigee than at apogee. Therefore it will exert 42 percent more tidal force at this full moon compared to the spring tides for the full moon that will coincide with apogee next January,” it said.
In a report by BBC News UK, space expert Heather Couper said "supermoons" were the result of coincidence.
"The Moon goes round in an oval orbit so it can come very close to us, and if that coincides with a full moon, then it can look absolutely enormous," Couper said in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today program.
The term "supermoon" did not come from science: it was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle. – Rappler.com