Sky watchers on Saturday were treated to the sight of a super moon, which is the phase of the Moon's orbit around the Earth when it is closest to our planet.

The distance between Earth and its satellite varies between 220,000 miles and 254,000 miles. This is because the Moon's orbit around the Earth is elliptical rather than circular. The super moon phenomenon is a rare celestial occurrence that allows us on Earth to see the Moon as 14% bigger and 30% brighter.

"The Moon goes round in an oval orbit so it can come very close to us, and if that coincides with a full moon, then it can look absolutely enormous," British astronomer Heather Couper told the BBC.

The 64-year-old author of books including The History of Astronomy (2007) and Stargazing (2006) also said the optical illusion was created only when the Moon appears on the horizon, i.e. when it rises or sets. It looks normal when viewed high in the sky.

According to the BBC, if you missed the super moon sighting on Saturday night, you could still catch a glimpse of this phenomenon on Sunday night, with south-west England and south Wales most likely to have the best views.

The next super moon is expected in August 2014.

Check out photos of the super moon...