A supermoon floods the sky over the European Southern Observatory in Chile. Images like this could be captured in various parts of the world on March 19, 2011, when the largest supermoon of the last 18 years took place.
The supermoon is produced when our satellite reaches its perigee, that is, when it is closer to Earth. Last March, the Moon was 356,577 km, about 50,000 km closer than during the peak, when it is further away. As a consequence, higher tides occur, since these are due to the gravity that the Moon exerts on the oceans.
During perigee, the Moon looks 14% larger and up to 30% brighter. This time it also coincided with the full moon phase, which made it even more spectacular.
The full, low and reddish supermoon on the horizon creates the optical illusion of filling the sky.
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