Supermoon visible Saturday night
A China Eastern Airlines passenger jet passes in front of the moon over Shanghai in this May 13, 2011 file photograph. (REUTERS/Aly Song/Files)
A "supermoon" will be visible Saturday night, and will look 14% larger than usual.
At 11:35 p.m. ET, the moon will officially be full. At 11:50 p.m. ET, the moon will be at what astronomers call perigree — just 356,955 km from Earth.
But while the supermoon is making headlines worldwide, researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., say the nickname makes it sound like a bigger deal than it is.
"Will people know it's a supermoon on Saturday? Only if they've read about it," McMaster astronomer Robert Cockcroft said in a release Friday.
A supermoon happens once a year, and Cockcroft said the moon changes its proximity to Earth over the course of the year, so at times it will appear closer and larger than at other times.
The closeness of the supermoon does bring higher tides, but they rise only two or three centimetres beyond average, Cockcroft said.