Supermoon to light up the sky this weekend

Posted December 03, 2017

For people of the Northern hemisphere, the December full moon is called as a cold moon.

A supermoon occurs when a full or new moon coincides with the lunar orb being particularly close to earth in its cycle. "This is because the moon revolves round the Earth in an elliptical orbit". The point farthest away from the Earth is called apogee. When a full moon is closer to our planet, the tide levels are often higher. This Sunday's supermoon will appear a little tiresome in comparison, only appearing seven percent larger and 16 percent brighter.

The best time to see it will be as the moon rises just after sunset, according to National Geographic.

That combination will make the moon seem about 14 percent larger in diameter than usual this weekend, NASA said.

It's worth noting that a supermoon technically occurs during a new moon, too, but that phenomenon usually isn't referred to as a supermoon since new moons are not visible in the night sky.

A supermoon rises behind St Paul's Cathedral in London last year
AFPImage captionA supermoon rises behind St Paul’s Cathedral in London last year

But for those who can't wake up that early, the moon will still look bigger - and brighter - throughout the night.

While the moon is undoubtedly both bigger and brighter than usual, our eyes tend to trick us into seeing the moon as larger than it truly is.

If you're unable to see the supermoon, you won't have to wait long for another opportunity.

A supermoon occurs when there is a full moon at or near the point where the moon reaches perigee. Even so, the supermoon is still worth viewing. On the three dates marked, step out into the moonset or moonrise and look up for a trilogy of sky watching treats! NASA calls it the supermoon trilogy, with the next two occurring on January 1 and January 31.

What's the difference between a supermoon and a Blue Moon?

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