A “supermoon,” one of the biggest and brightest full moons of the year, rises above the city lights of Anchorage, Alaska at dusk on February 19, 2019 at 7:53 pm while the Arctic Valley Star twinkles on the Chugach Range. This vantage point is looking east from Earthquake Park at the far end of Northern Lights Boulevard.
On its elliptical orbit around earth this is about as close as the moon gets to earth (known as perigee) and is 221,734 miles away. A Supermoon is 8% wider and 16% brighter than an average full moon.
The star you see on the steep slopes of the Chugach Range (right side of photo) is at an elevation of 4000 feet above sea level. It is 300 feet in diameter (wide as a football field) and is made up of around 350 – 60 watt lightbulbs. From this viewpoint the star is located about 15 miles away on land controlled by Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson (JBER) and is maintained by military work crews. Every year, just after Thanksgiving, the 5-point star gets turned on and remains on until mid-to-late March when the last Iditarod musher crosses the finish line in Nome.