Supermoon 2017: Here's how to watch it

Supermoon Alert! Sunday's Full Moon Will Be 2017's Only Supermoon
Supermoon 2017: Here's how to watch it
Author

03 December, 2017

This is because it's a Supermoon, which is a full moon that's closer to the Earth than normal.

THE last full moon of this year, on Sunday, December 3, will be a supermoon - a phenomenon that occurs when the moon is closest to the earth, which makes Earth's natural satellite appear bigger and brighter. The result is that the full "super" moon appears slightly larger and slightly brighter to us in the sky. This Sunday's supermoon will appear a little boring in comparison, only appearing seven percent larger and 16 percent brighter.

It will shine up to 30 per cent brighter, not only because it's close to Earth, but also because Earth will be nearing its closest to the sun in early January.

Supermoons occur roughly once a year.

A new moon is the first phase in the lunar cycle that occurs when the moon is in conjunction with the sun - but is not visible from Earth. The next time the moon will come that close to the Earth will be on November 25, 2034.

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The Slooh Supermoon Challenge livestream will kick off on Sunday December 3 at 9pm EST (Monday December 4 at 2am).

The bigger question is whether we'll be able to see the supermoon in Seattle. After that, there will be supermoons on January 2 and January 31, 2018.

An image of the moon taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is shown in two halves to illustrate the difference between the apparent size of a supermoon (left) and a "micromoon" (right).

There is an option offered by the Italian-based Virtual Telescope Project, which consists of several robotic telescopes remotely accessible in real-time over the Internet. You also can catch the supermoon online at a free webcast from the Virtual Telescope Project starting at 16:00 UT on December 3.


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