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It's that time of the year: Supermoon shines brightly this weekend

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The moon in its waxing gibbous stage sh behind tree limbs and a statue a marble statue by John Gelert representing history and law on the top of the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, N.J., Friday, June 21, 2013. The moon, which will reach its full stage on Sunday, is expected to be 13.5 percent closer to earth during a phenomenon known as supermoon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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The moon in its waxing gibbous stage sh behind tree limbs and a statue a marble statue by John Gelert representing history and law on the top of the Bergen County Courthouse in Hackensack, N.J., Friday, June 21, 2013. The moon, which will reach its full stage on Sunday, is expected to be 13.5 percent closer to earth during a phenomenon known as supermoon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A "supermoon" rises this weekend.

The biggest and brightest full moon of the year graces the sky early Sunday as our celestial neighbour swings closer to Earth than usual.

While the moon will appear 14 per cent larger than normal, sky watchers won't be able to notice the difference with the naked eye. Still, astronomers say it's worth looking up and appreciating the cosmos.

"It gets people out there looking at the moon, and might make a few more people aware that there's interesting stuff going on in the night sky," Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory said in an email.

Some viewers may think the supermoon looks more dazzling, but it's actually an optical illusion. The moon looms larger on the horizon next to trees and buildings.

The moon will come within 222,000 miles (357,000 kilometres) of Earth and turn full around 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT), making it the best time to view.

As in any supermoon event, high tides are forecast because of the moon's proximity, but the effect is expected to be small.

Forget about the myths that swirl every time a supermoon appears. There's no link to higher crime or bizarre behaviour. Scientists say that's just lunacy.

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