This Saturday, May 5th 2012 is a Perigee full moon, meaning that the moon will be at the closest point to earth in its elliptical orbit while fully illuminated. This happens on average about once per year (most recently on March 19th 2011) and unfortunately these events, popularly called 'Supermoons', seem to take on a life of their own. It is true that the moon is closer and will appear larger and brighter in the sky than a typical full moon. The difference, however, is marginal and certainly not noticeable to an observer looking up in the sky. The only way to appreciate the difference is to have an image of the Perigee moon to compare to an image of an Apogee moon, the point when the moon is farthest in it's orbit...as in this image.
For those of you hoping that this post would be translated into Spanish, La Luna de Perigeo, I do not speak Spanish...yet, it happens that this Luna de Perigeo falls on Cinco De Mayo so here in the southwest we have two reasons to have a margarita on Saturday. By the way, Perigee is about 8:30 PM MST. Watch the NASA video below for a nice explanation of the event.