However, when the orbits of the earth and moon coincide such that they are at their closest to each other during a new moon phase – that is exactly what you get.
Technically, this is referred to as a perigee-syzygy moon but more commonly is simply known as a ‘supermoon’.
Although I missed the best of this phenomenon today (best viewed when the moon is closer to the horizon), I did manage to catch a glimpse of the supermoon … in Camberwell!
The moon was beautifully framed between the spire of St Giles church and the dark black silhouette of some copper beeches. A very good example, particularly for London.
However, it’s not as uncommon as you would expect and rather like prime numbers, these moons tend to come best in pairs. So if you missed the supermoon in the UK this month, you may want to check the night skies for the next one on Tuesday 9th September 2014.