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Supermoon dazzles observers

A giant moon offered a rare treat for romantics and stargazers Saturday night.

Superkuu innoitti monet kaivamaan yöllä kameransa esiin.
Superkuu innoitti monet kaivamaan yöllä kameransa esiin. Image: Mikko Kuusisalo

Stargazers were treated to an exceptionally clear and large full moon Saturday night, when a rare “super moon” phenomenon occured.

A distinctly larger and brighter full moon was clearly visible in the night sky over southern and central Finland Saturday night, as the full moon rose over the horizon.

The supermoon occurs when the moon is closest to the earth during its elliptical heavenly orbit, contributing to the grandeur of the visual effect.

In addition to seeming to be much larger, the supermoon also appeared 16 percent brighter than a regular full moon.

On Saturday night stargazers were able to view the spectacular full moon as it hung low over the horizon, with an optical illusion giving it the appearance of greater size.

“The human brain perceives objects on the horizon to be larger than they really are. When the moon rises higher, it seems smaller, although it really isn’t. Also, because the moon is now closer, its size appears to be even greater,” explained Jukka-Pekka Teitto, coordinator of the Ursa Astronomical Association Observatory.

The supermoon occurs roughly once a year and may produce more powerful tidal action due to the moon’s increased proximity to Earth.

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