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Upcoming 'supermoon' no cause for alarm, NASA scientist says

June 21, 2013 at 3:57 PM   |   Comments

GREENBELT, Md., June 21 (UPI) -- The largest full moon of 2013, known as the supermoon, won't drive people crazy, cause natural disasters or wreak havoc on the tides, a NASA scientist says.

The supermoon will occur Sunday when the moon attains perigee, its closest approach to Earth in its orbit around the planet, SPACE.com reported Friday.

While the tides might be slightly higher because of the moon's close approach, the average observer won't notice or experience any noticeable difference, NASA planetary geologist Noah Petro said.

"There should be no impact on anybody on the Earth," he said on NASA TV. "There should be nothing unusual except maybe for more people staring up at the moon, which should be a wonderful thing."

It would be difficult for the casual observer to notice a difference between this full moon and the 11 other full moons during the year, Petro said.

"It's a subtle difference. It really is a reward for people that are looking at the moon quite regularly."

The moon will reach its peak fullness Sunday at 7:32 a.m. EDT as it approaches to within 221,824 of Earth.

The moon's average distance from Earth throughout the year is about 238,900 miles.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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