Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

'Super Moon' is back, larger and closer than ever

by Take Two

SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 23: The Super Moon rises over Santa Monica on June 23, 2013 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images) Christopher Polk/Getty Images

If you look up in the sky Sunday night, you'll see the perigee full moon, which sounds cool, but not as cool as what you probably know it by: the Super Moon. The Super Moon will be the largest and closest of 2014.

KPCC’s science reporter Sanden Totten joined Take Two on Friday to talk more about what we can expect to see and what makes this super moon so special. 


On what makes the super moon look super:

"The moon's orbit around the Earth is elliptical. That means that sometimes it's closer to the Earth than usual, and that's what happens during this full moon, so it's a coinciding of the moon being closer than usual and being full ... so the moon is actually going to be about 30,000 miles closer than the normal distance. And, as a bonus, it'll look about 30 percent brighter and maybe seven to 10 percent larger in the sky."

Other interesting elements of the super moon:

"There's actually an optical illusion, so if you catch the super moon when it's nice and bright and full, when it's low on the horizon, you may have noticed it looks ginormous some days. Well, it's not actually bigger in the sky, but it's a sort of trick of perspective when it's near things close to the horizon or at least, that's what scientists think is going on.

So, it'll look really big, and it'll look really bright. One of the cool things about the super moon: It's closer, so it actually has a slight more of an effect on tides ... high tides and low tides are about an inch greater or lesser than usual during this time, so there might be a little bonus for surfers who go out during the super moon." 

You can check out some of our past super moon coverage here. 

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