'Super moon' lights up sky

00:18, May 07 2012
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A stunning shot from Christchurch. Reader Ricky Tiong superimposed a slightly underexposed shot over an overexposed shot to get the details of both the clouds and the moon.
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The moon seen from Ilam, Christchurch.
Super moon John Miller
GIANT: John Miller sent in this picture of the moon in close-up.
Super moon Helen Beswick
EERIE: Cantabrian Helen Beswick, who was out of town, took these photos from Wellington's Mt Victoria.
Super moon Helen Beswick
LOOKING OUT: Out-of-town Cantabrian Helen Beswick took these pictures from a Wellington look-out.
Super moon Helen Beswick
FULL MOON: Cantabrian Helen Beswick took these pictures from Wellington's Mt Victoria.
Super moon John Miller
NIGHT LIGHTS: St Albans resident John Miller snapped the moon over New Brighton.
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BOLD: This photo of the super moon was taken near Hornby around 6pm.
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BEAUTIFUL: The super moon from Parklands.

A "super moon" managed to break through cloud to light up in the night sky in Christchurch overnight.

NASA said the moon appeared about 14 per cent bigger than usual and 30 per cent brighter, because of its oval orbit around the Earth.

Do you have photos of the super moon? Share them with us by emailing reporters@press.co.nz.

Super moon
CAPTURED: A Christchurch resident took this photo of the "super moon" at New Brighton.

The scientific term for the phenomenon is "perigee moon".

Super perigee moons are fairly common, with the moon becoming full within a few hours of its closest approach to Earth about once a year on average.

The moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side, or perigee, about 31,000 miles closer than the other, or apogee.

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Super moon
BIG: The "super moon" up close.

The moon was visible over New Zealand from about 5.23pm.

The last perigee moon was on March 19, 2011, when it was about 250 miles closer than last nights.

According to Space.com meteorologist Joe Rao, the moon was about 356,955 kilometres from the earth.

Super moon
WOW: Cantabrian Helen Beswick captured the "super moon" from the Mt Victoria lookout.

Later this year the opposite will happen, with the November 28 full moon coinciding with the moon's apogee, its farthest approach, Space.com reports.

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