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What is a 'supermoon?'

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In recent years, we've heard the term 'supermoon.' To be quite honest, I'm not sure who started that. It grabs headlines, and it allows us the opportunity to explain what's going on.

A supermoon occurs when the full moon as at perigee, or its closest point to Earth in its orbit around us. With the sun in the opposite direction, this full moon can appear (at times) to be 14% larger and 30% brighter.

It's nothing new, really, but the terminology is. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson has said before, it's kind of like comparing a 16 inch pizza to a 15 inch pizza. When you put it that way, it's a bummer. However, the pictures we get are pretty cool!

Photo Credit: Tim Rice - Bluff City

Photo Credit: Kellie Gates - Bristol, VA

Photo Credit: Lynn Karriker - Bristol

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