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The moon was about as close as possible to Earth, making it appear bigger and brighter than the average full moon Saturday evening, May 5, 2012.
The so-called “supermoon” happens when the moon turns full and it is at its closest approach to earth at 221,802 miles away. The combination of the two effects results in a supermoon.
NASA says the supermoon May 5 would appear up to 16 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than a usual full moon. Unusually high and low tides are expected in the days surrounding the supermoon.
The bright moonlight might make it more difficult to see the Eta Aquarid meteor shower, which is also peaking at the same time. NASA still predicted up to 60 of the brightest meteors will still be visible each hour Saturday night into early Sunday. The Eta Aquarid meteor shower happens when the Earth passes through a stream of debris left behind by the famed Halley’s comet, and will be visible until May 28.