Friday night special: 30% more moonlight
If the moon hit your eye like a big pizza pie Friday night, you might have wondered who ordered the extra large.
Astronomers say the full moon that rose in the sky Friday evening was the biggest and brightest in 15 years — as long as the view wasn't blocked by the Canadian weather.
That's because the moon was closer to the Earth than usual. The moon travels around the Earth in an elliptical orbit, meaning it has moments where it is relatively close (its perigee) and moments when it is farther away (its apogee).
But it's a relatively rare occurrence when the moon reaches its perigee during a full moon, as it did on Friday night. That hasn't happened since 1993.
The moon was 356,567 kilometres from the Earth on Friday night, about 30,000 km closer than normal.
As a result, NASA said it would appear about 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than it normally does. The effect, the space agency said, would be particularly pronounced during the rising and setting of the moon, due to an optical illusion that makes the moon appear larger as it nears the horizon.
The moon's close proximity was also expected to produce stronger than usual tides.