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Supermoon 2012: Did you see it? (PHOTOS)


The supermoon rising over the ancient Greek temple of Poseidon at cape Sounion, some 60 kms south of Athens. Due to an unexplained effect known as the "moon illusion," the Moon always appears larger near the horizon than it does higher up in the sky.


Aris Messinis

If you looked up at the sky last night, you will have seen an unusually bright, large Moon – or, as it's known, a supermoon.

Yesterday's full moon, which was visible from around 11:30 p.m. EDT, is expected to have been the biggest we'll see all year, according to NASA estimated it was as much as 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than other full moons of 2012.

The phenomenon, also called a perigee full moon, occurs when the Moon happens to be full at the same time that its uneven orbit brings it closest to Earth.

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People all over the world stayed up to enjoy the once-a-year event, as demonstrated by the pictures sent in to NASA's Flickr group. In Lahore, Pakistan, for example, where the Moon is traditionally a symbol of love, people climbed onto rooftops and gathered in parks to see the supermoon, the Daily Times of Pakistan reported.

The supermoon even overshadowed another impressive space event, according to Sky News: last night also saw the peak of the Eta Aquariid meteor shower, a trail of debris left by Halley's Comet – but, Sky said, "the glare of the Super Moon washed out all but the brightest fireballs."

While its most spectacular visible effects are over, the perigee is expected to cause unusually high and low tides into next week, reported, due to the Moon's increased gravitational pull as it draws nearer Earth.

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