Nightly News | May 06, 2012
LESTER HOLT, anchor: If the weather was clear where you live and you were lucky enough to see the moon last night, you saw one spectacular show, a rare full moon when the moon's orbit is closest to the Earth , making for some pretty breathtaking sights. Here's NBC's Charles Hadlock.
CHARLES HADLOCK reporting: The biggest and brightest full moon of the year arrived this weekend and glowed around the world.
Unidentified Boy: Awesome. Real awesome.
HADLOCK: Moonstruck residents of Los Angeles climbed to the top of Griffith Park with their telescopes for an even closer look.
Ms. JAMIE JOHNSEN-BRIGHAM (Moon Watcher): Oh! Oh, my gosh!
Unidentified Man: Yeah.
Ms. JOHNSEN-BRIGHAM: It's -- you can't even describe it. It's just unbelievable.
HADLOCK: But you didn't need telescopes to see the beauty. The beauty came to us.
Mr. DERRICK PITTS (The Franklin Institute Science Museum Chief Astronomer): The event is called super moon. And because it happens once a year, this makes this a somewhat special moon. That's why we call it super.
HADLOCK: This weekend, the full moon is 30,000 miles closer to us than at any other time during its orbit around the Earth , an event astronomers call perigee.
Mr. PITTS: It happens that the perigee is taking place at the same time as full moon . That means that we might be able to see the moon appearing a bit brighter.
HADLOCK: And larger than a normal full moon . And when it's seen near objects on the ground, like Poseidon 's temple in Greece or a cathedral in Russia or a fisherman in Florida , it's even more breathtaking. Astronaut Andre Kuipers tweeted these pictures from the International Space Station . Super moon sinking behind the Earth's atmosphere . Unless it was cloudy, no one escaped the moon's enchanting glow, from the mountains of Reykjavik , Iceland , to the Colosseum in Rome , to the iconic hillsides of Rio de Janeiro .
Ms. JOHNSEN-BRIGHAM: And just the different colors, you could see whites and silvers and grays and blacks. It's just -- you'd never even imagine that there's that much detail. It's beautiful.
HADLOCK: Astronomers say to take a good long look at the moon the next few nights. It will be 2029 before the full moon is once again this picture perfect. Charles Hadlock, NBC News, Atlanta.