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Supermoon In LA: Best Places To See The Giant Full Moon (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/04/2012 4:57 pm Updated: 05/05/2012 3:08 pm

It's a bird... It's a plane... It's supermoon!

The moon is about to be as close as possible to the Earth in 2012 this Saturday. Nicknamed "supermoon," it will appear much brighter and slightly larger than a typical full moon.

At 8:35 p.m. PST Saturday, the supermoon will be 221,802 miles from Earth and should appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than the average full moon, according to NASA. The moon will be 8,198 miles closer to the Earth than the average Earth-moon distance.

At the same time as the supermoon, the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower is expected to hit its peak. Although the bright moonlight will obscure some of the meteors, NASA scientists predict that 40 to 60 of the brightest fireballs will still be visible.

To get the best view, scientists recommend going somewhere as removed from city lights as possible. In Los Angeles, we have various supermoon-watching options, from the Griffith Observatory to guided hikes in the mountains to the Santa Monica ferris wheel.

Click through our recommendations below for the best spots in Los Angeles to view the special night sky:

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  • Hike Above Greek Theatre

    Hike above the Greek Theatre a little early to catch the tunes of Los Lobos, which will be playing at the Greek at 6pm. Then, as the theater empties out, lie back and enjoy your alone time with the supermoon. Two free shows in one! Photo credit: <a href="" target="_hplink">Greek Theatre LA Facebook</a>

  • Franklin Canyon Park

    Free Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy hike at Franklin Canyon Park in Beverly Hills: "Take advantage of the big moonlight on this moderately strenuous hike in the hills that are a rustic oasis from city. Meet 7 p.m. at the Sooky Goldman Nature Center [(310) 858-7272, Ext. 131] (exit Coldwater Canyon Boulevard and travel south to Mulholland Drive and make a sharp right onto Franklin Canyon Drive) and expect to be out for two hours." -<a href=",0,4028792.story" target="_hplink"><em>Los Angeles Times</em></a> Photo credit: Alamy

  • Griffith Observatory

    While there's not a special supermoon event planned, the <a href="" target="_hplink">Griffith Observatory</a> is the perfect place to view the heavens. Telescopes are open to the public until 9:45pm, and there are telescope demonstrators to assist you and teach you a few things about what you're seeing. The building closes at 10pm. Photo credit: Alamy

  • Ferris Wheel At Santa Monica Pier

    Add the ocean and some cotton candy to your supermoon experience! Warning: check the weather before choosing a beachside viewing point. Photo credit: Alamy

  • Las Virgenes Canyon

    Free Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy hike at Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve in the San Fernando Valley: "Meet 7 p.m. at the Victory Boulevard Trailhead (exit Valley Circle Drive off the 101 Freeway, turn left on Victory Boulevard and drive to the end) for a half-mile stroll to a viewing platform. Dark skies at this park, the old Ahmanson Ranch site, should provide good views during this two-hour outing." -<a href=",0,4028792.story" target="_hplink"><em>Los Angeles Times</em></a> Photo credit: Alamy

  • Joshua Tree

    Get away from it all and venture to the desert in Joshua Tree, where you are sure to get a better view than any of the closer Los Angeles options. For the truly committed lunar lovers! Photo credit: Alamy

  • Angeles Crest Highway

    A classic Los Angeles make-out point, the Angeles Crest Highway is an ideal option for those who prefer a more private, in-car viewing experience (although you really should at least lie on the hood to get a better view). Photo credit: Flickr/karina y

  • Malibu Canyon

    Malibu Canyon is a good choice because it is more removed from city lights, although check the weather first to make sure the ocean isn't going to deliver obstructing clouds. Photo credit: Alamy

  • Runyon Canyon

    Runyon is easy to get to and is a popular place to spot celebrities and take your dog. Celebrity-viewing in the moonlight (maybe)! Photo credit: Alamy