Look for "supermoon" tonight

A RARE ‘‘supermoon’’ will result in record high tides and possible flooding in low-lying areas of Newcastle this weekend.

A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth.

Tonight is the closest the moon will be all year.

It will be 16 per cent brighter than a normal full moon and an extra-big sight to see for astronomy enthusiasts across the country.

Have you snapped an out-of-this-world moon photo? Email it to news@theherald.com.au. Remember to include your name and contact details.


National Tidal Centre manager Bill Mitchell said record high tides of 2.07 metres in Newcastle this evening and 2.09 metres on Monday night were expected.

‘‘The highest tides occur around a full moon and near a full moon,’’ Mr Mitchell said.

They would be Newcastle’s highest tides since January 2009, when tides peaked at about 2.09 metres.

Newcastle City Council will have crews on call throughout the weekend and into Monday.

‘‘The tidal conditions are no more significant than any other very high tide event that occurs annually,’’ a council spokeswoman said yesterday.

‘‘There may be some localised flooding and motorists are advised to take care when driving.’’

The supermoon will swing in 356,955 kilometres (221,802 miles) from our planet.

Unfortunately, it will overshadow the Aquarid meteor shower which was due early this morning.

Associated with Halley’s Comet, the meteor shower is one of the best to be seen from the southern hemisphere and people can look for it in the eastern sky.

But the full moon will make it impossible to see any but the brightest of the meteors.

Scientists say the supermoon will not cause any earthquakes or other natural disasters.

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