We will see the Super Moon tonight in Central Indiana. It's a full moon that will seem brighter and bigger.

You don't have to be a space nerd (self included) to enjoy the beatiful sight in the sky tonight.  We will get to witness a Super Moon.  Here's what it's all about.

First of all, tonight is a full moon and it's officially full at 11:35 PM EDT.  But you can easily start enjoying the effects after sunset tonight.  The moon will actually look bigger when it's rising over the horizon.  The moon will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter tonight. The larger appearance all comes down to the orbit of the moon and how close this alignment is to Earth. 

The moon orbits on an oval path so at times, the moon will be closer to Earth.  The closest point is called Perigee, the farther point is call Apogee.  The two points in the orbit differ by 50,000 km in distance to Earth. The moon will be in the Perigee position tonight just one minute before the moon is full (11:34 PM EDT).  What this sets up is the perfect timing for a larger and brighter looking moon.  The brightness comes from the alignment of the moon, Earth and Sun.  But it's the closeness to Earth that results in both visual effects.

This isn't an odd event at all and it often occurs yearly.  Last year we had a Super Moon on March 19th.  That moon position was actually a little closer than what we will see tonight.  That moon was 400 km closer according to spaceweather.com

The key to enjoying this full moon is to get out after sunset and look to the southeast.  The moon will look the biggest when it's rising over the horizon.  It will look smaller the higher it gets in the sky.  It's actually an optical illusion, but if you want the biggest bang for your buck, earlier is better.

Typically, the May full moon would be called the flower moon according to the Farmers Almanac.  But that name is overshadowed by this lunar event. 

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