Rare 'Super Moon' Treat For Stargazers

Rare 'Super Moon' Treat For Stargazers

A so-called super moon has lit up the long weekend night sky, bringing a lunar spectacle for amateur and professional astronomers alike.

Super moons happen when the satellite's closest approach to the Earth during its orbit - known as perigee - coincides with a full moon.

The "perigee moon", as it is known scientifically, is as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons this year, says Nasa Science .

During Sunday's perigee - the closest point of orbit - the moon was calculated to be 221,801 miles from Earth minutes after the official full moon phase at 4.35am BST.

The perigee moon line up with the Earth and the sun makes it appear brilliantly full.

The super moon is a term coined in 1979 and also causes high and low tides to be slightly more extreme than usual.

But astronomers say there is nothing to fear from them - super moons are about picturesque moments and are not a threat to the planet.

"While we know that during new and full moons the tides are greatest - and if it's in concert with a storm surge it might produce unusual flooding - there is no scientific evidence that earthquakes and other natural disasters are connected," Geza Gyuk, an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, said.

"Super moons have been happening for billions of years, and nothing particularly special occurs on these dates - except, of course, for a beautiful full moon."

The last super moon occurred in March last year, and was about 250 miles closer than Sunday morning's event.

Sky News weather producer Chris England said most places in the UK will enjoy clear spells overnight - except southeast England and central Scotland, which will be cloudy.