February 5, 2016

Iowans encouraged to check out “supermoon”

The moon is lighting up the Iowa sky in spectacular fashion this weekend. The so-called “supermoon” is extra big and bright, according to Steven Spangler, a professor of astronomy at the University of Iowa.

The moon will reach its closest point to earth at 6:32 a.m. on Sunday. “That will be the largest full moon of the year 2013,” Spangler says.

The moon will still be about 221,000 miles away from Earth, so Spangler says some people may not even notice a difference. “It’s not going to be like it covers half the sky,” Spangler says. “It’s going to be about six-percent larger in size than the average full moon and about 11-percent larger than the smallest full moon you can see during the course of the year. But, it will be the largest that the moon will be in the sky this year, at the time of full moon.”

The moon will not reach this close to Earth again until August 2014. “It certainly would be worthwhile for people to go out and look at it, because it is kind of a neat occurrence,” Spangler said. The moon will be about 29,000 miles closer to Earth than at the farthest point in its orbit.

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