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Originally posted by DJW001
Solar and lunar eclipses usually occur in pairs, because the Moon's orbit is aligned with the ecliptic for a couple of weeks. There is generally one solar eclipse somewhere on Earth every 18 months. Venus transits are rarer, with a cycle of two transits separated by eight years, then an alternating cycle between the paired transits of 121 and 105 years.
The biggest full moon of the year, a so-called "supermoon," rose into the night sky Saturday to the delight of skywatchers around the world, who captured the lunar sight in dazzling amateur astronomy photos.
Because of a fluke of orbital timing, the full moon of May peaked late Saturday just as the moon was passing its perigee, the closest point to Earth of its orbit. The result was the biggest full moon of the year, which NASA and other scientists nicknamed the supermoon of 2012.