The full moon, also known as the supermoon, will appear 14% brighter than normal tonight. The reason for this is that it’s closer to Earth than average—just 356,718 miles away instead of 384,000. It appears 14% larger and 30% brighter because our atmosphere dims its light before reaching us on Earth. (See “Full Moon: When Is the Last Super Full Moon?”)
What about other times? Although today’s supermoon won’t be visible in North America until 6 p.m., you get another chance at one very close to home next month! On August 10th 2016 there will be a total lunar eclipse where you can see it rise just after sunset while seeing totality during sunrise around 3:30 am local time (that’s Eastern Daylight Time). That means that this weekend, check out your best chance to see what NASA calls an ‘extraordinary’ event!