brightest and largest moon in 15 years tonight

If you are out and about tonight and look up at the sky, there is a larger than normal moon. In a rare coincidence, the moon’s perigee has overlapped with the full moon, making it 14% larger and 30% brighter.

Some strange lunar facts:

The moon is moving away as you read this, by about 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) a year. Eventually it’ll be torn apart as an expanding sun pushes the moon back toward Earth for a wrenching close encounter.

Beaches are more polluted during full moon, owing to the higher tides.

The moon will rise Friday evening right around sunset, no matter where you are. That’s because of the celestial mechanics that produce a full moon: The moon and the sun are on opposite sides of the Earth, so that sunlight hits the full face of the moon and bounces back to our eyes.

At moonrise, the moon will appear even larger than it will later in the night when it’s higher in the sky. This is an illusion that scientists can’t fully explain. Some think it has to do with our perception of things on the horizon vs. stuff overhead.

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