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The First Of Three Supermoons This Summer Arrives This Weekend

A snapshot of the supermoon in 2011, taken on a hill above Dodger Stadium (Photo by Lori Bucci via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Regular full moons are for commoners! We shall get the honor of feasting our eyes on not one, but three supermoons this summer—and the first one arrives this weekend.

We have to admit that we've been spoiled lately with the blood moon lunar eclipse and sweet, honey moon that filled our skies this year. But throughout the world, we'll all be gazing up at the same glowing, supermoon (AKA "perigee moon" if you want to sound scientific and possibly earn the respect of Neil deGrasse Tyson) on the nights of July 12, Aug. 10, and Sept. 9.

Now, you might be asking what a supermoon is and if it's tied in at all to invoking a Michael J. Fox Teen Wolf experience. It's actually a phenomenon that happens to make the full moon look brighter and bigger than normal.

NASA explains why this happens: "Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee"). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright."

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However, as special as it sounds, it's not such a rare occurrence. Full moons occur near the perigee every 13 months and 18 days. As a consolation prize though, the Aug. 10 supermoon is actually going to be an extra-supermoon because it becomes "full during the same hour as perigee," NASA reports.

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