If the moon looks extra bright tonight, its not just your imagination.
Tonights full moon will be closer to the Earth than it has been in 18 years, leading astronomers to call it a supermoon.
The science behind this super phenomenon has to do with the shape of the moons orbit, said Charles Hakes, a physics professor at Fort Lewis College.
Because the moon travels in an elliptical path around the Earth, its distance from the Earth changes at different parts of its orbit, Hakes said.
One side of the ellipse is closer to the Earth than the other, so in its cycle, the moon travels through both a perigee, when its the shortest distance from Earth, and an apogee, when its the farthest distance from Earth.
Tonight, the full moon happens to coincide with the perigee, a phenomenon that happens only once every 18 years, Hakes said.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, perigee moons are about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than moons that occur on the apogee side of the orbit.
NASA reported that the last full moon this close to Earth occurred in March 1993.
Despite the moons influence on the rise and fall of the tides, scientists have debunked theories that the supermoon influenced the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
All those crazy comments probably are just that, crazy comments, Hakes said.
The only change people might notice is a brighter night, he said.
The best time to take in the moons brightness will be after it has risen above the horizon, Hakes said, because that is when its light isnt as diluted by the atmosphere. Moonrise is at 7:49 tonight in Durango.
Now, he said, the question is: Will it be clear enough to see the moon?
According to the National Weather Service, the answer is maybe. The forecast is for partly cloudy skies, with a low of 28 degrees.
So bundle up and cross your fingers.