'Supermoon' of May 5th Likely To Outshine Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower This Weekend

May 3, 2012
On the evening of Saturday, May 5, 2012, the moon will pass by the Earth at the closest it will be in 2012.  Known as a "supermoon", this month's full moon may be substantially larger and brighter than usual, and may even cause some wild occurrences.  Scientists also refer to the event as a "perigee moon."

The moon will swing in 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers) from our planet, and some believe that this phenomenon can rile tides, kick up extreme weather, spur natural disasters, and even affect the internal spirit of people and creatures.  Some have even speculated that last year's supermoon, which occurred March 19, 2011 and was the closest since 1993, was the cause of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Saturday's moon, which also falls on the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby and the 150th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo, is due to burn at least 16% brighter than normal.  The best times to catch the supermoon are as it rises or sets on the 5th, but it will also be worthy of a glance on Friday the 4th and Sunday the 6th. While the supermoon is sure to be quite the sight in and of itself, it may interfere with the peak of an annual meteor shower created by the leftovers from Halley's comet.  At the same time as the supermoon's best viewing time, the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower will be hitting its peak, NASA scientists say.

So where is the best place to view the supermoon in San Diego?  Probably out in the desert away from the city lights, but I'll probably be up at Kate Sessions park or Mount Soledad.

Check out the video below that NASA made to explain the supermoon of May 5th.