The full moon on Saturday night will appear especially huge because the moon will be closer to the earth than it usually gets. Scientists–who are great at naming things–call this simply a “supermoon.” No worries–the moon’s not falling. (That’s a fact for kids, for whom the moon’s falling can be a real concern.) It’s just that the moon follows an elliptical orbit and when it flies by on Saturday it will dip down to get a better look at what’s happening on earth, whose gravitational pull (with some help from the sun) guides it. Just because the supermoon isn’t falling doesn’t mean it can’t cause trouble: werewolves aside, the vision of the supermoon can be startling–especially on a busy Saturday night–and a distraction to drivers.
If you miss this supermoon, though, you’re in luck. The other two full moons this summer–on August 10 and September 9–are also supermoons. The moon will be closer by a distance about equal to the diameter of the earth–that’s a lot until you consider that the moon is about 30 earth diameters away.