The August supermoon will rise Sunday night although plenty of stargazers saw a preview of the large, bright moon Saturday. August's full moon is the second of three for the summer, the first in July and the next in September.
Unlike the events in July and September, the August supermoon will be a bit more special as the moon turns full within the hour it reaches perigee, or closest point to Earth. The moon is in an elliptical orbit around Earth although the difference between perigee and apogee, the farthest point, is just 50,000 kilometers (around 31,000 miles), notes NASA. The moon turns full on the same day as perigee in July and September.
For those who are not fans of the term "supermoon," the scientific term for such a full moon is a "perigee moon." Sky and Telescope's Maria Temming said the August supermoon will not look that much brighter or fuller than a normal full moon but noted the moon will be at "proxigee," or the closest perigee, and around 221,765 miles away from Earth.
While many people caught a glimpse of the supermoon from Earth, cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, currently aboard the International Space Station, captured a "moonset."
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— Oleg Artemyev (@OlegMKS) August 10, 2014
Unlike meteor showers, catching Sunday's supermoon is a simple matter of looking out into the night sky. Slooh, the international organization of astronomers and observatories, will provide a supermoon 2014 live stream to celebrate the event. Slooh astronomer Bob Berman will discuss the supermoon and answer fan questions.
"This will be largest since March, 2011. And although the size-enhancement is 11 percent compared to an apogee full moon like the the one this past January, it will seem even larger -- much larger -- thanks to the psycho-optical effect we will discuss during the show. And, thanks to the super-tides that day and the following day, Earth’s biosphere will definitely be affected by this event," said Berman.
The supermoon 2014 live stream begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT and can be viewed below.