'Super duper' full moon is coming

05:45, Aug 08 2014
SUPER-DUPER FULL MOON: The moon will appear larger and brighter than normal on August 11.

Stargazers will be treated to a "super-duper-moon" on Monday as the full moon reaches its closest point to Earth.

The moon would appear larger and brighter than normal as it reached its perigee - the closest point to Earth on its oval shaped orbit - on August 11, coinciding with the hour the moon was at its most full.

When seen on the horizon, the full moon would seem much larger than when seen high in the sky because of an interesting optical illusion.

University of Canterbury astronomer Associate Professor Karen Pollard said the upcoming event was capturing the imagination of stargazers and photographers across the world as there would not be a closer full moon until November 2034.

The full moon would occur at 6.10am on Monday, reaching perigee slightly earlier at 5.44am.  

At its closest, the moon would be 356,896km away from Earth - only 496km from the closest it could ever get to our planet, Pollard said.


The last super moon happened on July 9 and another would be seen on September 9, but Monday's event would the closest and largest one of the year.

Pollard said the best time to see or photograph the moon was while it was rising.

"On Sunday night the close-to-full moon will rise above the eastern horizon in Christchurch at 5.09pm and on Monday night the just-past-full moon will rise at 6.24pm."

Monday's super moon would result in more extreme spring tides, but Pollard said it would not cause flooding unless combined with a strong weather system.

The Press