Okay, the “supermoon” is not really the biggest. The moon isn’t changing size. But on May 5, at 11:35 p.m. EDT, the moon will be full. It will also be the closest to Earth that it gets (perigee) at a distance of 221,802 miles (356,955 kilometers). Your Cinco de Mayo parties will be well lit.
This supermoon is the closest perigee of 2012, causing a 16 percent brighter-than-average full moon. There are also going to be extreme high and low tides. If you plan on hitting the beach, make sure you move that towel.
You know that “moon illusion?” Where the full moon is close to the horizon and it looks huge? Scientists don’t really know why that happens, but it’s going to make the night’s moon viewing spectacular. May 5 is also the midpoint of spring this year, coming exactly between the March equinox and the June solstice.