Catching the summer of supermoons
(CNN) — The first of this season’s summer of supermoons filled the night sky over the weekend.
July’s supermoon happened Friday evening and peaked early Saturday morning, on July 12. But night owls, stargazers and early morning risers will be able to feast their eyes on more lunar showings soon. The next two are scheduled for August 10 and September 9, according to NASA.
The supermoon occurs when the moon becomes full on the same days as its perigee, which is the point in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to Earth.
“Full moons occur near perigee every 13 months and 18 days, so it’s not all that unusual,” Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said in a statement from NASA. “In fact, just last year, there were three perigee moons in a row, but only one was widely reported.”
He is referring to the supermoon that happened in June last year. It was 14% bigger and 30% brighter than the other full moons of 2013. The lunar event even grabbed international headlines.
People were eager to take photos of the celestial event and shared their photos on CNN iReport.
New York City resident Rachel Cauvin says seeing the supermoon was an incredible spectacle. She woke up early Saturday morning to watch it from the balcony of her Bronx apartment.
An astronomy fan, she photographed the supermoon hanging over the city that morning. Because of the haze, the moon was not as bright as she hoped it would be, but she says it was still a beautiful sight. She has marked her calendar for the next two showings in August and September.
Sometimes the supermoon is difficult to distinguish from a full moon because clouds can mask the difference in brightness and size, according to NASA.
But Southern California resident Marie Sager had to take a chance to catch the much-anticipated supermoon on July 12 and even set her alarm back so she wouldn’t miss it. She trekked out into her Los Angeles backyard to see the glowing supermoon still lingering in the Saturday morning sky.
She had photographed it late Friday evening, but she says it was much larger and brighter Saturday morning, so missing out on a few extra hours of sleep was worth it.
She is also looking forward to the other supermoons this summer. “I am a stargazer and a moon watcher, and hopefully, weather permitting, I’ll he there waiting and watching,” she said.
Even though Talia Landman has seen the supermoon countless times, the educator at the Kennedy Space Center was standing outside her Orlando, Florida, home hoping to get a glimpse of the glowing moon.
What draws her out to see these astronomical events is their uniqueness, she explained. “Every supermoon is a different experience. A lot of factors play into it, such as location, weather, time of night,” she said.
“This one was just as beautiful as the others. Maybe even a little brighter,” she said.
CNN’s Dana Ford and Kristian Monroe contributed to this story.