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Supermoon 2012 to make Saturday night appearance in US skies

The moon is seen in this undated file photo.
May 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Plenty of people will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo Saturday night, but those visiting the Griffith Observatory will be part of a celebration that is out of this world.

The park will be open during the best time to see this year's supermoon, between 8:35 p.m. PT. It's called the supermoon because it's closer to the earth than at any other time all year.

"If you look at it near the horizon, you'll also get that affect when things on the horizon look bigger, so the moon will look super big then, and it should be a neat view," said Dr. David Reitzel of the Griffith Park Observatory.

He says the moon will be 221,000 miles from the U.S., about 7,000 miles closer than an average full moon.

"It'll be about 7 percent bigger and about 15 to 16 percent brighter than your average full moon," he said.

He also says telescopes are not the best way to view it. Rather, all you need is the naked eye.

"Full moons are a little too bright, you don't need to magnify them, you don't need to gather all that extra light," he said.

Plenty of people can't wait to see it.

"You want to see as many of these once a year things as possible for as many years as you have left, right?" said Richard Somers of Pacific Palisades.

But what about the superstitions surrounding full moons? Jeremy Zorek, 10, says chill out.

"No one should be worried because it's not like it's an asteroid coming, it's not like the moon's gonna all of a sudden into crash into Earth. I just think it looks cooler because its bigger," he said.

The good news is the forecast is mostly clear skies over most of Southern California, so all should have a great view of the super moon.


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