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Moonlight Dazzle: Mark Your Calendar For May 5

Moonlight Dazzle: Mark Your Calendar For May 5
5/3/2012 10:48 AM ET

On May 5, the world will witness an exceptional celestial treat as the Moon makes its closest approach to the Earth and will also appear the largest this year. The lunar event when the Moon is closest to Earth in its orbit is known as perigee. This month's full Moon also coincides with the Moon's perigee, making it the 'Super Moon' of this year.

According to astrologer Richard Nolle who coined and defined the term 'Super Moon', 4-6 super Moons occur annually.

The average distance between the Moon and Earth is about 238,000 miles. But on May 5, the Moon will be just 221,802 miles away from the Earth at its perigee. Last year's Super Moon, which occurred on March 19, was only 221,567 miles away from the earth, and it was the biggest in almost 20 years.

The Super Moon of May 5 will be as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full Moons of 2012. At 11:34 pm Eastern Daylight Time, the Moon reaches perigee, and the best time to look is when the Moon is near the horizon, say NASA scientists.

The Super Moon brings with it extra-high "perigean tides," but there is nothing to worry, assures the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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