If things seem a little fishy at your Kentucky Derby or Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday, don’t blame the tequila or beer. Blame Earth’s satellite, the moon.

A "supermoon" or a "super full moon" occurs when the moon is closer to Earth than normal, making it look about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter. Guess what, this year's biggest full moon will occur on Saturday night at 11:35 p.m.

Under normal conditions, the moon is close enough to Earth to make its weighty presence felt: It causes the ebb and flow of the ocean tides. The moon's gravity can even cause small but measureable ebbs and flows in the continents, called "land tides" or "solid Earth tides," too. The tides are greatest during full and new moons, when the sun and moon are aligned either on the opposite or same sides of the Earth.

According to Space.com, the best time to look is when the moon is low in the sky, after it rises or before it sets. At these times, you can see the moon behind objects, creating the illusion of a larger moon.


[via Space]