The brightest moon in almost 69 years is lighting up the sky this week in a treat for star watchers around the globe. The phenomenon known as the supermoon will reach its most luminescent in North America before dawn on Monday. It will reach its zenith in Asia and the South Pacific on Monday night, the AP reports. Across the international dateline in New Zealand, it will reach its brightest after midnight (local time) on Tuesday. Viewers can expect to see a moon about 14% larger in diameter and about 30% brighter than when it's at its furthest from the Earth. It won't be as big and bright again for another 18 years.
The moon will be at its brightest this week because it's coming closer to the Earth along its elliptical orbit than at any time since January 1948. The supermoon will also bring stronger than usual high tides, followed by plunging low tides the next morning. NASA says its closest approach will occur at 6:21am Monday, when the moon comes within 221,523 miles—that's from the center of the Earth to the center of the moon. Full moon will occur at 8:52am EST. (Read more supermoon stories.)