Published Saturday, 05 May 2012
A plane flies across a full moon. (© Getty)
Between Saturday evening and Sunday morning the moon will pass at its nearest point to Earth of the year, causing it to appear especially large.
Coming 27,445km closer than average, it will seem around 14% bigger than other full moons and up to 30% brighter.
The Irish Astronomical Association said the phenomenon is due to the moon's elliptical orbit around the Earth, which means that its distance from us is constantly varying.
It so happens that the closest approach, or 'perigee', of 2012 will coincide very closely with the full moon on 6 May, at around 4.35am.
Thus the full moon will appear noticeably bigger and brighter than usual.
Experts added that the effect is likely to be most noticeable at moonrise and moonset, because of the so-called 'moon illusion', which makes the moon appear bigger when it is close to the horizon.
This will mean the best time to view the event in Northern Ireland is at around 8.45pm on Saturday or - if you are up early - at about 5.20am on Sunday.
ENTER A LOCATION FOR 5 DAY FORECAST