The full moon this Sunday, August 10, is particularly special. Dubbed a ‘supermoon’, it is the largest and brightest of the year.
This lunar show is the second act in a trio of supermoons that are gracing our skies this summer.
Supermoons occur thanks to coincidental timing – when a full moon combines with the satellite being at its closest to Earth.
It means the moon appears 16 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than usual.
While some are calling it a ‘supermoon’, the astronomical community prefers to use the term ‘perigee full moon’, pointing out they occur every year and are therefore not as rare as some claim.
In 2014 there are three supermoons, on July 12, August 10, and September 9.
The monthly full moon always looks like a big disk, but because its orbit is egg-shaped around the Earth, there are times when the moon is at what astronomers call perigee, its shortest distance from Earth in the roughly month-long lunar cycle, or it can be at apogee, its farthest distance from Earth.
Likewise, because the size of the moon’s orbit varies slightly, each monthly perigee is not always the same distance away from Earth.
See how the supermoon, or “perigee moon,” works in this SPACE.com infographic.
Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter to @euronews using #supermoon, and we will feature the best in our image gallery.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration