Super Moon was, in fact, pretty super (big photo gallery)

REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

The full "super Moon", scientifically known as a "perigee moon", rises over Los Angeles, California May 5, 2012. A "super Moon" lit up Saturday's night sky in a once-a-year cosmic show, overshadowing a meteor shower from remnants of Halley's Comet, the U.S. space agency NASA said. The Moon looked especially big and bright, because it reached its closest spot to Earth at the same time it was in its full phase, NASA said. Below, the full moon rises behind a mosque as birds fly in Amman.

More photos of the "super Moon" as seen around the world this weekend follow, below.

REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Wrangler Nate Cummins rides by moonlight, the night before the "Super Moon" during Montana Horses' annual horse drive outside Three Forks, Montana.

REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh

A full moon rises over office towers in Dubai Media City in Dubai.

REUTERS/Darryl Webb

A runner makes his way along a trail on a butte in front of the "super Moon" at Papago Park in Phoenix.

REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

The full "super Moon," scientifically known as a "perigee moon," is pictured over the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.

REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez

A view of the "super Moon" is seen above a cathedral tower in Guatemala City.

REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

A full moon is seen behind the minaret of Mohamed Ali mosque, in Islamic Cairo.

REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The "super Moon" rises over some apartment buildings in Toronto.



  1. Proof that nobody ever bothers to go out and look at the Moon until social media tells them to. It looks to the eye exactly the same as every other full  moon.

    1. Not really… it rarely looks close to as large as it did last night in Toronto at about 8:30, unless it’s a harvest moon.

      1. No, really. The date of the Moon’s perigee has nothing to what month it is. Harvest moon looks no different either. People think certain full moons look bigger because they watch for it rising, and the moon always looks bigger just over the horizon. It’s the Moon Illusion. Wiki it.

        I’m really happy when people go out and look at the sky, I just can’t stand it when it’s because of goofball notions like this.

      2. It’s purely the power of suggestion, a full moon at perigee appears 14% larger than an apogee full moon (and an apogee full moon happens as rarely as a so-called supermoon) so only 7% larget than an average sized full moon. The human eye cannot tell a difference   in size that small* without something near it to provide context, which is why the moon appears larger when it is near the horizon.

        *the moon is seriously small on the sky; hold your little finger up at arm’s length, the nail will cover the moon.

    2. I look at the moon every night thanks to living in one of the driest places on earth, and yeah, it didn’t look any different to me. The perigee in 2006 seemed more dramatic.

    3. Drew, I couldn’t agree more, except for the fact that from my roof on Russian Hill in San Francisco, I’ve got one of America’s best moonrise views 12x a year. I’m up there for every single one of them if I’m in town, and all my friends think I’ve got a full moon pagan fetish of some kind. — and it didn’t look any larger than the other 100 full moon rises I’ve seen from my roof.

      It was, however, a perfect evening for moonrise gazing in San Francisco and the moon rose lavender against an indigo horizon. Epic.

    4. Well that’s just false. I didn’t hear about the super-moon being anything different from a regular full moon until this morning. But last night I saw the moon and dat shit wuz kray.

  2. Beuatiful pictures! I love the moon; I took a lot of pictures of it over the years. Unfortunately the weather here was too cloudy to see the moon last night.

  3. I had no idea that there was supposed to be a “super moon” last night, and I when I saw the moon I said OMG that is an amazing moon.  Must. take. pictures. 

  4. (in most pathetic Eeyore voice)  “It was cloudy here…. but at least there were no earthquakes…”  :(

  5.  Yeah, walking into the usually dark back room last night, I thought they must have put new lights in the parking lot. Bright, bright moon. Easily bright enough to read a book, even with it only halfway to the zenith.

  6. So is any full moon, even when the media doesn’t hype it up by running big stories where they make sure to assure people that it won’t flood them with a higher than normal tide.

    Phil has a good rundown of the so called supermoon at bad astronomy –   – he also links to his explanation of the moon illusion – why the moon appears larger closer to the horizon and near objects such as buildings.

  7. The full moon is always super — with a telephoto lens and perspective! To the AZ runner, the moon looked fairly normal. But shot at the distance and location with the runner in front, SUPER! Same with the birds and Cristo Redentor in Brazil. Throw in some atmospheric warmth and distortion, and it looks even better.

  8. Is anyone able to tell what kind of birds are flying in front of the moon in the second photo? I want them to be crows, but they sort of look like they might be pigeons. 

  9. While the size of the super moon might not be noticeably larger, IMO the real difference is in the enhanced moonlight’s effects on the environment. Because of the inverse-square law stuff on the ground is extremely illuminated. The average person probably won’t be able to notice a 12% change in the moon’s size in the sky, but even the most untrained eye can notice a 12% difference in brightness.

    When I go home today I’ll upload the photo I took yesterday of the moon over the water at Bondi Beach.

  10. The birds silhouette is so awesome it became my wallpaper.. Edges needed a little ‘purification’ so here’s my version for anyone else who wants a wallpaper version.

  11. Probably because we had unseasonably humid weather, our super moon was also that striking, slightly menacing shade of orange red. Quite the sight.  

  12. A runner makes his way along a trail on a butte in front of the “super Moon” at Papago Park in Phoenix

  13. The picture with the birds was censored by the government to keep the truth from the people. This is the original.

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