John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
This was the largest and brightest the moon will look until August 2014.
Most times, taking good astronomy photos means driving far away from any city's wash of light pollution. Thankfully, that wasn't the case with this weekend's "Supermoon." The earth's little space-buddy was beaming so bright and big it almost looked like you could light a fat cigar on it.
A "Supermoon" is one that reaches its full phase at its closest point to earth (the moon, that incorrigible tease, is constantly approaching and retreating from our planet). The term was popularized by astrologer Richard Nolle, who's tied the interesting cosmic alignment and slightly increased gravitational pulls of supermoons to outbreaks of earthquakes, tsunamis and severe storms – although the evidence suggests there's little to no connection at all.
"Supermoons" occur roughly every 14 months – you'll have to wait until August 2014 for the next one – and compared to regular full moons appear more swollen and luminescent, by about 13 and 30 percent, respectively. The biggest-looking moon of 2013 flashed into the skies early on Sunday morning, although photographers were able to snap it both Saturday and Sunday nights. Here's some of the best of what they saw, beginning with this gorgeous view from the beaches of Toronto:
Sandwiched between the dual towers of Brazil's national congress, in Brasilia:
Lurking behind the under-renovation Washington Monument, in D.C.:
Towering above the Four Towers business district, in Madrid:
Mountaineering near Almaty, the largest city in Kazahkstan:
Matching the craziness of Singapore's skyline, at the Supertrees Grove at the Gardens by the Bay:
Pretending to be an orange in West Orange, New Jersey:
Swallowing a plane above New York City: