HOUSTON -- On Sunday, June 23 at 6:32 a.m. Houston time, the moon will be full. Not only that, it will be the closest the moon is to the earth for the entire year.
Most astronomers call this the perigee moon. This describes the moon's closest approach to the Earth in its not so perfect oval orbit around our planet. The moon will big and bright both Saturday and Sunday night with a mostly clear sky.
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Now, two years ago, people made up the term "Supermoon" when this occurred, and it kind of stuck. It's not as rare as you might think either -- last month's full moon was also a perigee or "supermoon. "
This month however, it's even closer.
The June full moon also has a name (Source Farmers Almanac): Full Strawberry Moon – This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June -- so the full moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!
Now every perigee moon isn't the same either. Sometimes the moon isn't full when it makes this very close approach to the Earth. That's why this Sunday is so special because it's a full moon and the very closest approach the moon makes to the Earth all year long. In fact the full moon time and the exact moment of perigee are only separated by an hour this weekend. Very rare indeed! The moon won't be this close again to the Earth until August of 2014.
This weekend's full moon will essentially look full both Saturday night and again Sunday night. So lets keep the clouds away as much as possible and get out there and take some pictures. I know I will and here's a hint. Saturday night looks much better than Sunday.