All eyes to the skies on the night of November 14th! That's right, we're in for another supermoon, But this time, the moon will be the closest it has been to Earth since 1948. That's 70 years!
On the night of Monday, November 14th, the moon will appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual. Make sure not to miss it, as the next time the moon will be this close to the Earth will be in November of 2034.
Supermoon of June 23, 2013 at Umaid Bhawan Palace, India
But what is a supermoon, you ask?
"Supermoon" has become a popular word to describe a lunar phenomenon otherwise known as a "perigee moon". In the moon's elliptical orbit around our planet, one side of this orbit, know as the "perigee", is about 30,000 miles closer to Earth than the other side (known as the "apogee").
When the moon, Earth and sun line up (with the sun and moon on opposite sides of the Earth) and the moon's perigee side is facing us, we get what is called a perigee-syzygy, or, in Layman's terms, a moon that looks much brighter and larger than usual.
Believe it or not, supermoons are not super rare. We had a more subtle perigee moon on October 16th of this year, and will have another on December 14th to hail in the holiday season. November 14th's, however, will be the most notable.
"The full moon of November 14 is not only the closest full moon of 2016, but also the closest full moon to date in the 21st century," says NASA.
Check out the video below to learn more about what's to come.
If you plan on viewing the supermoon, try to catch it when it's close to the horizon- that's when it appears to be the largest. When the moon is higher in the sky without buildings or landmarks to compare it to, it can be more difficult to discern it's increased size. According to NASA, "When the moon is near the horizon, it can look unnaturally large when viewed through trees, buildings, or other foreground objects... The effect is an optical illusion, but that fact doesn’t take away from the experience."
Tips for viewing 2016's November supermoon:
- Catch the moon when it's still close to the horizon.
- Get away from city lights; you'll want a clear, dark sky for optimal viewing.
- If you want to try a morning viewing, the moon is actually expected to reach it's peak fullness at 8:52am EST on the 14th. However, visibility is not guaranteed.
**Note to Australians!** Your supermoon will occur on November 15th and will reach its full phase at about 12:52am AEST.
So, will you viewing the supermoon? Let us know in the comment section below!
Author: Nate Morgan