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What’s The ‘Supermoon?’ A Meteorologist Explains

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(credit: Joe L. Blevins)

(credit: Joe L. Blevins)

(credit: CBS) Susie Jones
Susie Jones has been with WCCO Radio since 1996. She started as a...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — If the moon looks a little bigger and brighter to you these days, you’re right.

WCCO Radio Meteorologist Mike Lynch explains the so-called “supermoon” phenomenon.

“The ‘supermoon’ is actually a term that comes from astrology, not astronomy,” Lynch said.

Astrologer Richard Knoll invented the term. Lynch says the full moon is actually the closest to the earth that it will get this year.

What's A Supermoon?

tim grier winona What’s The ‘Supermoon?’ A Meteorologist Explains
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“It’s whenever you have a full moon that within 90 percent of its closest distance to the earth,” Lynch said.

He says the moon’s orbit is not a circle, it’s an ellipse. When it’s at its farthest distance it’s called “apogee,” and at its closest distance it’s called the “perigee.”

“And the full moon we’ve had was just over 221,000 miles away, which makes it a supermoon,” Lynch said.

The one thing about this full moon that was special is that it was the closest distance this year.

Lynch says it appears about 15-percent brighter than average and seven-percent larger.

But remember, every time you get a moon rise, the moon will appear bigger.

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