Supermoon 2017: This weekend's moon is the biggest of the year

02 December, 2017, 01:31 | Author: Carmen Reese
  • Mark Your Calendar for the 1st Full'Supermoon of 2017

The cool thing about a supermoon coinciding with a full moon is that the Moon will appear brighter and bigger, hints the name supermoon.

The best time to see the supermoon will be at 08:45 GMT (03:45 EST) on December 4, at which point the moon will be just 222,135 miles (357,492 kilometres) away from Earth.

The term supermoon was coined 30 years ago by astronomer Richard Nolle, and it describes the "perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system". Be on the lookout on January 2 and January 31 of the New Year for more big, attractive moons.

Lyle Tavernier from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Lab said: "The Moon doesn't orbit in a ideal circle".

A supermoon occurs when the moon reaches its perigee at the same time it is in the full moon phase, said Angela Speck, MU director of astronomy and professor of astrophysics. However, in my new house, the moon does not seem anywhere near as big or bright even though it's the exact same moon. When the Moon is at its farthest point from Earth in its orbit it is called a lunar apogee. It also sometimes referred to as the Moon Before Yule (Yule is an old northern European winter festival, associated with Christmas).

Largest Supermoon in 68 Years
Largest Supermoon in 68 Years Adrienne and Frank Bradley

If the skies are clear then there should be no difficulty spotting the supermoon.

EarthSky notes this January super blue moon "will pass right through the Earth's shadow" making for a super blue moon eclipse! It is clarified that the moon will look 14% bigger and 30% brighter. The orbit of the moon is an elliptical; there are times in the moon's orbit where it is closer to the Earth, and other times when it is farther away. WHAT WILL HAPPEN This full moon will be nearly exactly like any other full moon, but for frequent observers of the moon, it may appear brighter and slightly larger.

The last supermoon was back in November 2016, where we saw the biggest moon for a generation.

When the moon is closest, the tide will be at its highest, and the same happens with a new or full moon.

However, December's full moon is the only visible supermoon.

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