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James Poulson | Daily Sitka Sentinel File

Super full moon will shine brightly this weekend

Meteorologist: Juneauites will have a chance to see it Sunday night

Posted: June 21, 2013 - 1:06pm

A "supermoon" will rise this weekend.

The biggest and brightest full moon of the year will grace the sky early Sunday as our celestial neighbor swings closer to Earth than usual.

According to a report from The Associated Press, the moon will appear 14 percent larger normal, but skywatchers won't be able to notice the difference with the naked eye. Still, astronomers say it's worth looking up and appreciating the cosmos.

Alas, in Juneau, our forecast calls for cloudy skies. That doesn't mean, however, all hope is lost for a chance locally to see that big glowing orb.  

Wes Adkins, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Juneau, said it could go either way. 

"Right now we're calling for mostly cloudy skies, but it could start clearing out a bit," he said. "Sometimes — in our temperate rainforest climate — our models can overdo cloud cover." 

He said a clearing trend is predicted to begin Sunday afternoon and early Monday. 

The moon will come within 222,000 miles of Earth and be at it's fullest at 3:32 a.m. on Sunday, June 23. 

As in any supermoon event, high tides are forecast because of the moon's proximity. Naturally, this month's highest and lowest tides happen roughly 24 hours after the supermoon event — Monday's high tide is a 19.7-foot tide happening at 1:56 a.m. and a -4.8 low tide is set for 8:28 a.m.

Some viewers may think the supermoon looks more dazzling, but it's actually an optical illusion. The moon looms larger on the horizon next to trees and buildings.

Oh, and forget about the myths that swirl every time a supermoon appears. There's no link to higher crime or bizarre behavior. Scientists say that's just lunacy.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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