By Ken Kaye, Staff Writer
3:49 a.m. EDT, March 17, 2011
E-mail Print Share Text Size fl-super-moon-20110316
It's called an "extreme supermoon" and when it rises in the eastern sky on Saturday, it won't just be full, it also will be making its closest approach to Earth in 18 years.
If no clouds get in the way, it should be a great night for stargazers. But the moon, which will appear about 10 to 15 percent larger than normal, could create abnormally high tides from Friday through Sunday, experts say. And that could mean beach erosion and minor flooding along the shoreline.
"The tides are definitely going to be higher, not only in Florida, but worldwide," said astronomer Arnold Pearlstein.
The best time to view the moon will be at sunset — about 7 p.m. — on Saturday, when it will be closest to the horizon and should look "huge and orangey," Pearlstein said.
Jay Albert, of the Astronomical Society of the Palm Beaches, said the best way to view it will be with the naked eye, not a telescope. The lunar surface will be too bright to easily discern mountains and craters.
Some think the supermoon is a harbinger of global chaos, including earthquakes and hurricanes. Others, such as Pearlstein, disagree. But he said, "It's going to be interesting to see if there will be more wolves howling at the moon."