Mark your calendars and clear out your schedules, because this Sunday the supermoon is back.
The supermoon, which is also known by the slightly less mellifluous name perigee-syzygy, occurs when the timing of a full moon coincides with the satellite passing through its closest point to Earth in its orbit. The result for those of us gazing up at it is a bigger, brighter version of Luna.
▼ Size comparison of the regular and supermoon
Astronomy fans have been blessed in recent years, with the supermoon appearing with nearly annual frequency. This weekend’s event was preceded by a supermoon on May 5 of last year, plus another on March 19 in 2011. The next is expected on August 11, 2014.
▼ The supermoon in 2011
▼ In 2012
▼ And in 2014?
The supermoon will, of course, be visible around the world. But as we sit writing this in Japan, rain is falling while the season’s first bona fide typhoon bears down on Tokyo. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the gale passes and the skies clear by Sunday night, saving us from having to scrap our romantic stargazing date plans for the weekend.