If you thought Saturday’s full moon appeared bigger and brighter than usual, you were right. You were looking at asupermoon.
Because our celestial neighbor is relatively close to Earth, these full moons appear to be unusually large. That distance varies because the moon follows an elliptical orbit. When it’s close and full, it appears larger and brighter than normal, although the difference can be hard to detect.
While Saturday’s full moon seemed huge, it was just an optical illusion caused by its position in the sky and occurs three times a year.·
Two other supermoons will be visible later this summer on August 10 and September 9.
Check out supermoons from around the world in the slideshow above.