OHIO VALLEY — People across the Ohio Valley were no different than people around the world as they looked up to the night sky on Sunday to view a lunar phenomenon: the supermoon.
Known to scientists as a “perigee moon,” the full moon that appeared on Sunday night has more recently been deemed a “supermoon” as, upon occasion, Earth’s neighboring celestial body appears slightly larger and brighter in the night sky, and can even be viewed in the daytime.
The moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side (“perigee”) about 50,000 kilometers, or approximately 31,000 miles, closer than the other (“apogee”). Full moons that appear on this closer, or “perigee,” side of the moon’s orbit seem to be a little extra big and bright.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, supermoons are approximately 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than other full moons, and during the summer of 2014, stargazers have already been treated two supermoons with a third one still to come.
The first supermoon occurred July 12, and the second on Sunday. The final supermoon of 2014 will occur Sept. 9. This past Sunday, the moon was at its closet point to Earth this year.