Don't miss the last 'supermoon' of the year in tonight's sky

06 December, 2017, 00:26 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Don't miss the last 'supermoon' of the year in tonight's sky

The biggest and brightest supermoon since 1948 will light up the sky one November night in 2034.

Here's how the moon appeared all over the world. The next two will occur on Jan. 1, 2018, and Jan. 31; since the supermoon on Jan. 31 will be the second full moon in January, it's dubbed a Blue Moon, and will occur during a total lunar eclipse. However, a brighter moon is the effect of an illusion caused by the close location of the moon, which makes the human brain compare it to nearby objects.

"The moon's orbit is not a ideal circle". Just how close that closest point to Earth is goes through a regular cycle.

Supermoons happen when the full moon coincides with the moon's pedigree, or the point its orbit comes closest to the Earth. The Dec. 3 full moon is the first of three consecutive supermoons.

And while it may appear super, the term "supermoon" is not the official term for the astronomical phenomenon. In scientific circles, this is called the perigee.

The time between perigees (an anomalistic month, about 27.555 days) does not align very well with the time between full moons (a synodic month, about 29.531 days).

Don't miss the last 'supermoon' of the year in tonight's sky
Don't miss the last 'supermoon' of the year in tonight's sky

The biggest and brightest supermoon in 70 years had Aucklanders in awe.

The supermoon that was seen over the weekend is the last of its kind this year.

When the supermoon is viewed low on the horizon, it appears huge.

Tom Kerss, an astronomer at Royal Observatory Greenwich, said the exact moment of full moon - when the moon sits opposite the sun in the sky, which was 3.47pm (10.47am ET) today in the United Kingdom.

The third supermoon on January 31 will be something even more special, according to NASA.


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    You also can catch the supermoon online at a free webcast from the Virtual Telescope Project starting at 16:00 UT on December 3. The liberal definition would be a full or new moon that's at or near its closest approach to Earth in its orbit.


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