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

Cesar Mills
December 2, 2017

Watching a full moon rise in the evening sky is always spectacular, but the full moon this Sunday will be extra special. It happens to fall on the first full moon of the month, which is known as the "full cold moon". However, on Sunday night, the moon will still shine 16% brighter and appear 7% larger than its usual size.

Of course, while its popularly referred to as a supermoon, if you're speaking with a scientist they will likely refer to this event as "perigee syzygy", as this event involves the alignment of the Moon, Earth and Sun. The January 31 supermoon will feature a total lunar eclipse, with totality visible from western North America across the pacific to Eastern Asia, NASA said.

On this day, the Earth's satellite will have the largest apparent size in 2017. When a full moon occurs at one of its closest points to the Earth, it's called a supermoon.

That puts the moon almost 26,000 miles (41,842 kilometres) closer to Earth on Sunday than usual.

Native Americans dubbed December's full moon the Full Cold Moon because it signals the beginning of winter when cold weather fastens its grip on much of the country until spring. From my old view, when the moon was high in the sky outside of my window, it appeared that it was close enough that I could throw a lasso around it and pull it right into my apartment.

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Here's a cool look at a supermoon from NASA in November of 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Mr Tavernier added: "Full moons can occur at any point along the Moon's elliptical path, but when a full moon occurs at or near the perigee, it looks slightly larger and brighter than a typical full moon". However, if you watch a supermoon is when it's low, near the horizon, you can fully appreciate this rare moment in space and time.

Nichols says that despite the difference between a regular full moon and a supermoon, it is not as grand as it appears.

For everyone waiting to catch a glimpse of the last supermoon of 2017, taking pictures to preserve the moment can be easy. "Then slide your finger up or down to darken or lighten the exposure".

An unprecedented display of astronomical showmanship will light up the night sky this weekend when the supermoon approaches Earth. Do it near the horizon, and do it again away from the horizon. "It's a fun way to get involved in science".

Other reports by GizPress

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