Science

First of three ‘supermoons’ is seen

Seagulls flew above Plymouth Harbor as the moon rose Friday.

John Tlumacki/Globe staff

Seagulls flew above Plymouth Harbor as the moon rose Friday.

NEW YORK — The full moon on Saturday was unusually big, big enough to be a ‘‘supermoon.’’

That’s the nickname for full moons that happen when our celestial neighbor is relatively close to Earth. That distance varies because the moon follows an elliptical orbit. When it’s close and full, it appears bigger and brighter than normal, although in fact the difference can be hard to detect.

See photos of the “Supermoon” from around the world

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Saturday’s moon seemed huge close to the horizon, but that was just an illusion caused by its position in the sky.

The full moon took place at 7:25 a.m., according to NASA.

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Two other full moons this summer, on Aug. 10 and Sept. 9, are also supermoons.

It’s not all that unusual to have a supermoon. There were three in a row last year.

Social media images of the supermoon

Watch: ‘Supermoon’ over ancient temple

BostonGlobe.com

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