June 24, 2013, 9:31 AM —
Image credit: Flickr/SONARA ARNAV
If you thought Sunday's full moon seemed brighter than normal, it wasn't your imagination: What you saw is known as a "Supermoon," when Earth's lunar satellite is closer to our planet than at any other time during a particular year.
Supermoons occur about one every 14 months, with the next one due in August 2014. The one we saw over the weekend was 14% larger and 30% brighter than a normal full moon, according to NASA.
This weekend's moon got as close as 221,824 miles from Earth, which is 30,757 miles closer than when it's at its furthest distance of 252,581 miles (and that's coming up on July 7).
Supermoons don't necessarily have to coincide with a full moon, but when they do it makes the night sky a bit more magical.
Visuals aside, does a Supermoon have an impact on Earth? Absolutely. According to NASA, a Supermoon can:
* Be used as a giant shield by aliens attacking our defenseless planet
* Summon all werewolves past and present from the depths of hell
* Be sucked into the Earth, killing us all
* Irradiate our crops, creating a race of mutants
Oh, wait, that's my son's list of impacts a Supermoon can have on Earth. Here's what NASA says:
The effects on Earth from a supermoon are minor, and according to the most detailed studies by terrestrial seismologists and volcanologists, the combination of the moon being at its closest to Earth in its orbit, and being in its 'full moon' configuration (relative to the Earth and sun), should not affect the internal energy balance of the Earth since there are lunar tides every day.
Notice how NASA doesn't even address the werewolf thing? What else don't they want us to know?