Sky gazers can look forward to 3 summer supermoons

The full moons of summer 2014 —on July 12th, August 10th, and Sept. 9th— will all be super moons.

The full moons of summer 2014 — on July 12th, Aug. 10th, and Sept. 9th— will all be supermoons

A so-called 'supermoon' shines brightly over a frozen lake in Muskoka, Ont., on March 19, 2011. (Submitted by Michael W.)

Last June, a full moon —called a "supermoon" thanks to its size and brilliance— made headlines across the world because it was 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than other full moons that lit up the sky in 2013.

This summer, sky gazers who marvelled at last summer's super moon are in luck because all three full moons of summer 2014—occurring on July 12th, August 10th, and Sept. 9th— will be supermoons.

According to NASA, "perigee moon" is the scientific term for a super moon. It means the moon is at the point in its orbit that brings it closer to Earth.

Over the next few months, all of the full moons that occur, will occur on the perigee side of the moon's orbit, making them appear extra big and bright.

In Saskatoon, the University of Saskatchewan's Observatory will be open to the public for free on Saturday, July 12 at 10 p.m.

Other things to watch for in the sky

Stan Shadick, who teaches astronomy at the University of Saskatchewan, said Friday that there will also be other things for people to see in the sky on Saturday night.

"People will see that although the moon is much brighter, there are other objects that are much more interesting, like especially Saturn. And they can also take a look at some star clusters," Shadick said.

Increased chance of flooding

Shadick also explained that when a perigee moon occurs there is always an increased potential for localized flooding in coastal communities.

"Whenever high tide occurs, that high tide will be higher than the normal high tide in the month," Shadick said. "Normally coastal areas take that into account so that is not a problem, unless it's particularly stormy."