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Stunning ‘supermoon’ dazzling viewers, rocks social media (PHOTOS)

Stunning ‘supermoon’ dazzling viewers, rocks social media (PHOTOS)
A spectacular full moon, or “supermoon,” lit up the sky around the globe on Saturday looking bigger and brighter than usual, causing millions to crane their necks to see the phenomenon – the first of three such moons expected this summer.

In the scientific world, the event is known as a ‘perigee moon’: it occurs when the full Moon reaches the closest point to Earth on its oval orbit. This point is called "perigee" and it is about 50,000 km closer to our planet than the other side of the Moon’s elliptical path - "apogee".

Aircraft passes in front of a Supermoon rising over the Rideau Canal in Ottawa July 12, 2014. (Reuters/Blair Gable)

The phenomenon, in fact, is not that rare, but still causes quite a stir every time it happens, with crowds of excited people flocking to suitable locations keen on snapping photos.

 full moon, known as "super moon", sets towards the western skies of Las Vegas, Nevada early Saturday morning July 12, 2014. (Reuters/Gene Blevins)

This year, though, three supermoons in a row will occur, with two others expected on August 10 and September 9. According to NASA, next month the Earth’s only natural satellite will turn into an “arguably extra-super Moon” as it will become full (18:09 GMT) and reach perigee (17:44 GMT) during the same hour.

The Supermoon rises over downtown Kansas City, Missouri July 12, 2014. (Reuters/Dave Kaup)

Saturday’s #supermoon has become a popular hashtag on Twitter, where users shared their impressions of the astronomical event and the pictures they took.

People stand and look at the moon one day ahead of the Supermoon phenomenon from a bridge over 42nd St. in the Manhattan borough of New York July 11, 2014 (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

A super moon rises in the sky above Manhattan and One World Trade Center as seen from the Eagle Rock Reservation in New Jersey, July 12, 2014. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

A super moon is seen next to Tokyo Sky Tree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower at 634 metres, in Tokyo July 12, 2014. (Reuters/Yuya Shino)

The so-called Supermoon, or perigee moon, rises behind the historic Mount Wilson Observatory on July 12, 2014 at Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest northeast of Los Angeles, California. (David McNew/Getty Images/AFP)

The "supermoon" is seen rising above the Washington, DC skyline on July 12, 2014. (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)

The so-called Supermoon, or perigee moon, rises behind a cloud near the landmark 73-story tall U.S. Bank Tower on July 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (David McNew/Getty Images/AFP)