Super Moon' Returns To Oklahoma Skies This Weekend - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

'Super Moon' Returns To Oklahoma Skies This Weekend

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A photo of last year's "super Moon" taken by Rick Gaschler. A photo of last year's "super Moon" taken by Rick Gaschler.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The full Moon that will shine on Oklahoma this weekend will be bigger and brighter than other full Moons this year.

It's because it will be a perigee Moon, or "super Moon" as some call it.

Full Moons vary in size because the Moon's orbit is not a perfect circle.  At perigee, when the Moon is closest to Earth, the Moon will appear brighter and bigger than usual.

This weekend, the Moon will be about 31,000 miles closer to Earth than usual.  The last "super Moon" happened in March of 2011, and it was spectacular.  

3/20/2011:  Related Story: 'Super' Full Moon Shines Across Oklahoma

This year's perigee occurs on May 5th at 10:34 p.m. Central Daylight Time.  One minute later, the Moon will align with Earth and sun, which astronomers say will make it unusually bright.

The best time to look is actually when the Moon is rising in the east.  

The bright Moon will make it difficult to watch another astronomical event this weekend.  The 2010 eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks on May 6, 2012.

The shower can be seen from both hemispheres, but the southern hemisphere will receive twice as many meteors as the north. Astronomers say the best time to look is during the hours just before sunrise.

Eta Aquarids are actually dust from Halley's Comet, which last visited Earth in 1986.  The comet is now far away, but it left behind a stream of dust which Earth passes through every May and October. 

The shower is named after a star in the constellation Aquarius. 

 

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