The last three full moons all occurred when the moon’s orbit around the Earth was at its closest point to our planet. This is called Perigee and makes the moon appear 30% brighter and 14% larger. In reality, these differences may not be really that noticeable to the average stargazer.
The moon will be about 13,300 miles closer than average when it officially turns full at 5:58 a.m. Friday at which point it will be in the sky at a spot 180 degrees to the sun.
This month’s full moon is also called the Harvest Moon, which comes from old-time farmers who worked late under the moonlight to complete the fall harvest before the onset of winter.
The supermoon will be accompanied by Saturn, the solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter, and Mercury. The closest planet to the sun, Mercury, will be hard to spot and won’t join the others until 5:30 a.m. just over an hour before the final supermoon of the year sets.
After that, the next supermoon won’t happen until a year from now with the next Harvest Moon set to rise on Sept. 18, 2024.
Unfortunately, you may have to wait until then to see the supermoon in all its luminous glory since clouds will be mostly overcast tonight.