The Supermoon rises over houses in Olvera, in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz
The Supermoon rises over houses in Olvera, in the southern Spanish province of CadizReuters

Sunday 13 July will be the first of three "Supermoon" nights, in which the Earth's natural satellite will appear bigger and brighter than usual. This is caused by the moon's elliptical orbit of the Earth.

The phenomenon is known as a "perigree" moon, which happens when the moon is 30,000 miles closer to our planet than the farthest point in its orbit – an "apogee" moon.

Other sightings of the Supermoon will be on 10 August and 9 September.

There has been speculation that natural disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, are linked with the 1-2 week period surrounding a supermoon.

However, no evidence has been found of any correlation between supermoons and major earthquakes.

A stork is silhouetted against the Supermoon in its nest in downtown Arriate, in the southern Spanish province of Malaga
A stork is silhouetted against the Supermoon in its nest in downtown Arriate, in the southern Spanish province of MalagaReuters
The supermoon, or perigee moon, rises behind the Mount Wilson Observatory at Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest
The supermoon, or perigee moon, rises behind the Mount Wilson Observatory at Mount Wilson in the Angeles National ForestGetty
A supermoon rises over the temple of Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the seas, in Cape Sounion, Greece
A supermoon rises over the temple of Poseidon, the ancient Greek god of the seas, in Cape Sounion, GreeceReuters
The supermoon is seen rising above the Washington, DC skyline
The supermoon is seen rising above the Washington, DC skylineReuters
A plane passes in front of a Supermoon rising over the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada
A plane passes in front of a Supermoon rising over the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, CanadaReuters
The Supermoon sets towards the western skies of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The Supermoon sets towards the western skies of Las Vegas, Nevada, USAReuters