© Marco Langbroek, the Netherlands, via Wikimedia Commons
The supermoon of March 19, 2011 (right), compared to an average moon of December 20, 2010 (left).
Yes, many will call the June 2013 full moon a supermoon. The upcoming full moon on June 23, 2013, will not only be the closest and largest full moon of the year. It'll also present the moon's closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013.
This year's closest and largest full moon will occur on June 23 at precisely 11:32 Universal Time
. At United States' time zones, that means the moon will turn full on June 23 at 7:32 a.m. EDT, 6:32 a.m. CDT, 5:32 a.m. MDT and 4:32 a.m. PDT. We astronomers call this sort of close full moon a perigee full moon
. The word perigee
describes the moon's closest point to Earth for a given month. Two years ago, when the closest and largest full moon fell on March 19, 2011, many used a term we'd never heard before: supermoon
. Last year, we heard this term again to describe the year's closest full moon on May 6, 2012.
This year, we also hear the term supermoon referring to the year's closest full moon on June 23, 2013. What does supermoon mean exactly? And how special is the June 23, 2013 supermoon?
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