From the New York Post:
A rare, so-called supermoon was expected to be seen Saturday, a partial optical illusion that occurs when the moon is full and at its closest distance to Earth.
At 3:00pm Eastern Time on Saturday, the moon will be closer to Earth than it has been over the past 19 years, at just 221,565 miles away.
The closest the moon usually gets to Earth — the perigee — is about 226,179 miles. At its farthest — the apogee — the moon is 252,276 miles away.
When the perigee moon lies close to the horizon, it can appear much larger than usual as a result of an optical trick, known as the “moon illusion.”
During its peak Saturday, the supermoon is expected to appear around eight percent bigger and much brighter than it normally does.
For centuries, the supermoon was regarded as a bad omen and blamed for causing natural disasters. However, astronomers said there was no link between the March 2011 supermoon and Japan’s earthquake and tsunami March 11.
“If you try hard enough, you can associate any disaster in history to any celestial object,” Australian astronomy writer Dave Reneke said. “The moon has come close to the Earth thousands of times in the past with no ill effects.”