‘Super Moon’ May Not Be So Super

December 04, 2017
The Moon as photographed by Apollo 11 astronauts on their way back to Earth.

The Moon as photographed by Apollo 11 astronauts on their way back to Earth.

NASA

You may have heard that Sunday night's full moon is going was a "super moon." But, a local astronomer is cautioning people not to get too excited.

David Leake, director at the Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College in Champaign says a "super moon" happens when the moon’s orbit takes it closest to the earth.

"The moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle. So, there are times when it can be a little closer and other times when it’s a little farther away from our earth, and they call the time near full moon when we’re at that close point as a super moon," Leake explained.

Leake says while a super moon is interesting, it isn’t very spectacular. The moon will appear only slightly bigger, but it is not something people can immediately tell when they look up.

Approximately every 14th full moon is a super moon.

Story source: WILL