4 May 2012

'Super moon' to appear on Sunday

10:02 am on 4 May 2012

The moon will appear larger and brighter than normal on Sunday, when its closest approach to Earth coincides with a full moon creating a "super moon".

The moon will appear 14% larger and 30% brighter than usual.

During its slightly elliptical orbit the moon is on average about 380,000 kilometres from earth. The perigee brings it to a distance of 356,953 kilometres.

Astronomer Grant Christie from Auckland's Stardome Observatory says the moon will rise at 5.23pm on Sunday and will be easiest to view after sunset.

Mr Christie says the super-moon should have minimal effect on tides.

He says the last time this event occurred was in March last year.