Tonight, if the full moon, rising in the East, strikes you as unusually large, you'll be right. It will loom larger than usual. Though it's hardly a scientific term, it will be what's known as a "supermoon."

If the weather is clear where you are, it should be a sight to see. It happens because -- despite what our senses tell us -- the moon does not orbit us in a perfect circle. It follows a slightly elliptical path every month. At 11:35 p.m. EDT, say astronomers, it will come within 221,802 miles of us -- coincidentally about one minute before it's at its fullest.

The result: When the moon is closest to Earth, it appears 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than when it's farthest from us. Two weeks from now, on the opposite side of its orbit, it will be about 252,000 miles away.


These images were taken last year, on March 19th




Photograph by Emanuel Lopes



Photograph by Fresco Jr. Linga



Photograph by Mike Segar



Photograph by Fred Thornhill



Photograph by Suzanne Plunkett



Photograph by Rehan Khan



Photograph courtesy Bill Ingalls



Photograph by Nuno Alexandre