A supermoon is coming Sunday evening
COLUMBIA - Break out the cameras, a supermoon is coming this weekend and is projected to light up the night sky.
On Sunday evening, the moon will be full for the final time of 2017 and will be in its perigee orbit, its closest proximity to Earth. Keep in mind, the moon's orbit is not circular but an elliptical shape and orbits the Earth roughly every 29 days.
To be considered a supermoon, the moon must come within 225,000 miles of the Earth. The moon has been in super-perigee a few times this year, but those events have happened during the moon's new moon phase, when light is not reflected from its surface.
This Sunday, the moon will be 222,000 miles away, compared to the usual 238,000. The difference may not seem like much, but the moon will appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter.
Like with a sunrise, the atmosphere may distort the moonrise and make the moon appear even larger.
The overly-large full moon will also affect the ocean's tides, often leading to localized sea-side flooding. King tides, or perigean tides, happen when the moon's gravitational pull on the earth is enhanced due to the closer proximity of the moon to the Earth.
While we cannot feel the pull, the moon's gravity is strong enough to pull on the fluid ocean and cause an extra sea rise of nearly 3 to 6 feet during high tide.
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