Monday's supermoon will be the biggest and brightest until 2034

Posted on Nov 13 2016 - 3:28pm by Huzoor Bux


A full moon the likes of which we haven’t seen for almost 70 years will grace skies around the world on Monday night.

The “supermoon — so named because the moon will be both in its full phase and at its closest point to Earth during its orbit at the same time — will be the closest of its kind since 1948. 

This cosmic coincidence won’t happen again until 2034, according to NASA.

So, how can you see it? 

Basically, just look up. 

From Sunday night through Monday night, the moon will be big, bright and shining just about 216,486 miles from Earth’s surface. If you have good weather, you should be able to spot it. 

Supermoons like these are rare thanks to the moon’s wacky orbit. The natural satellite doesn’t move around Earth in a perfect circle, which means that occasionally the moon will hit full phase when it is at its closest point (perigee) or farthest point (apogee) from the planet. 

In North America, the moon will hit perigee 6:23 a.m. ET Monday, making it to full phase about three hours later. In the UK, perigee will occur at 11:23 a.m. GMT.

In Australia, it will hit perigee 12:53 a.m. AEDT early Tuesday morning, although it will be best viewed during Monday’s sunset.

You can also see a live feed of the full moon Monday night thanks to the Slooh Community Observatory starting Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. 

A bigger, better moon?

But before you catch supermoon fever, it’s important to note that this week’s supermoon won’t actually look all that much different than a regular full moon. 

However, it could be particularly impressive as it rises, as well as in areas where the brightness of the moon is especially noticeable, such as along a coastline.

When the moon rises on Monday, it will look about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than the full moon does when it’s at its farthest point from Earth. This means that the moon won’t be that much larger than it is during any given full moon.

“At its closest, the moon will appear 8 percent larger across and 16 percent greater in area than average,” Sky & Telescope magazine said in a press release. 

“Add to that the fact that we’re closer to the sun than usual, and the lunar disk will appear 23 percent brighter than an average full moon.”

The supermoon could have some effects on Earth, though. 

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a full moon at perigee can boost tide levels on the planet. 

Along the Alaska coast, for example, a perigee full moon can increase the tide by about six inches, however that is less than a 2 percent increase above the usual, NOAA said. 

In some low-lying coastal areas that are already experiencing nuisance flooding events due to sea level rise, such as the Miami area, this supermoon may aggravate that problem.



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