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Science behind the weather: Supermoon

Supermoon Sunday: a rare occasion

Rodrigo Cokting
Staff writer

Sunday, August 10, 2014, 11:45 AM - While some lucky viewers got a sneak peak on Saturday, tonight make sure to look up to the sky—you'll be looking at the biggest and brightest moon of the year.

The moon will appear to be 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter. That's due to its proximity to Earth. You may not realize the moon is at varying distances at different times of the year but in reality the difference between its closest point (perigee) and the furthest (apogee) is about 50,000 kilometres.

RELATED: Speaking of rare events: How rare is a Friday 13 with a full moon?

If you're in Canada some of the best places to see the rare astronomical event include southern Ontario and southern British Columbia. Parts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Prairies will have partial cloudiness so optimal viewing times may vary for each region.

And if that wasn't special enough, the supermoon will be accompanied by this year's Perseid meteor shower. One hundred meteors an hour will be racing through the sky. It happens annually during the second week of August. The challenge will come from the increased brightness of the moon which could mean the meteor shower won't stand out as much. Experts say the lunar glare will interfere with the contrast between the meteors and the black background.

One good tip to avoid the glare is to "hide" the moon behind a tree or a building.

How to take a good picture of the moon

Start off by using the right equipment. Digital SLR cameras and telephoto lenses are your best bet. Additionally some software magnification would greatly enhance the picture. Don't forget to use a tripod. When cameras are zoomed in all the way, they become more prone to camera shake.

Timing is key. Pictures look better when the Moon is framed by trees or buildings, giving a point of reference.

Related: Have you ever captured a great picture of the moon? Make sure to share it with us by uploading your pictures and videos here.

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