fb-pixelFirst of three ‘supermoons’ is seen - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

First of three ‘supermoons’ is seen

Seagulls flew above Plymouth Harbor as the moon rose Friday.John Tlumacki/Globe staff/Globe Staff

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

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.


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



Altered Habitats: No magic bullet for climate change, Swiss scientist says

Scientists find ancient Tibetan altitude gene

Moon, Mars, and stars tell tale of increasing precision