Supermoons happen when the Moon is both full (i.e. on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun) and also at a minimum distance from the Earth in its elliptical orbit – when it is just 356,400 km (221,457 miles) away, compared to its mean distance of 384,000 km (238,606 miles). The last supermoon occurred on May 5, 2012, when the accompanying photo was taken.
The term 'supermoon' derives from modern astrology and is not used within the astronomical community, which uses the terms perigee full moon or perigee-syzygy moon.
Related category• MOON TOPICS
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