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The Summer of Supermoons is Here

(CNN) -- What's better than a "supermoon"? Three Supermoons! The full moons of summer this year -- July 12, August 10 and September 9 -- will all be Supermoons, as NASA calls them.
(CNN) -- What's better than a "supermoon"? Three Supermoons!

The full moons of summer this year -- July 12, August 10 and September 9 -- will all be Supermoons, as NASA calls them.

The phenomenon happens when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee -- the point in the moon's orbit when it's closet to Earth.

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"Generally speaking, full Moons occur near perigee every 13 months and 18 days, so it's not all that unusual," Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said in a statement from NASA. "In fact, just last year there were three perigee Moons in a row, but only one was widely reported."

Chester was talking about the Supermoon that happened in June last year. It was 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons of 2013, and garnered international headlines.

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NASA stressed that sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between a Supermoon and a regular full moon, as clouds and haze can mask a difference in brightness.

"There's a part of me that wishes that this 'super-Moon' moniker would just dry up and blow away, like the 'Blood-Moon' that accompanied the most recent lunar eclipse, because it tends to promulgate a lot of mis-information," Chester said in his statement. "However, if it gets people out and looking at the night sky and maybe hooks them into astronomy, then it's a good thing."
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