Moon broke the record for brightness

Moon March 20, 2011. Photos © AFP


On the night of March 20, the apparent size of the full moon was a lot more than usual. Earth's moon looked 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than the night when the full moon is minimal. Unusual collection of photographs of the moon can be found here.

The unusual appearance of the moon in the fact that on March 19 the moon was nearly at perigee — the closest point to Earth in its orbit. In this case, the earth's satellite was in a phase of the full moon. The distance from the Earth to the Moon was 356.5 thousand kilometers.

The last time that distance the Earth and Moon approached in 2008 — then the planet and the satellite came together for a few miles closer than March 19. However, in 2008, located at the perigee moon was not in the phase of the full moon. The full Moon closest to Earth in 1993.


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