Supermoon 2017: Here's how to watch it

03 December, 2017, 01:44 | Author: Katrina Soto
  • December's full moon is traditionally known as the Cold Moon

There will be one on New Year's Day followed by another on January 31, which, according to NASA, will be a "super blue blood moon".

December's full moon is known as the Cold Moon or Frost Moon in the northern hemisphere. During a supermoon, the full moon comes to fruition at the same time as a close pass. At that point the moon will be 222,135 miles away from Earth - almost 16,000 miles closer than it usually is during the year, Space.com reported. Closer to eight o'clock in the evening of 3 December, the Moon will approach the minimum distance, and then will gradually be removed. When a full moon is closer to our planet, the tide levels are often higher. It makes the moon appear up to 14 percent lighter and 30 percent brighter.

The best time to see it will be as the moon rises just after sunset, according to National Geographic. Nearby perigee full Moons appear about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than full Moons that occur near apogee in the Moon's orbit.

Supermoons are squishy because there's no official astronomical definition of the term.

If you aren't able to observe this weekend's supermoon, don't worry: The new year kicks off with two supermoons straight from the gate. "Some people perceive the rising moon as twice as large...", said Paranjpye.

Supermoon

A supermoon is also believed to have an impact on the Earth's waters. It appears the biggest and brightest during this time because of a "moon illusion" effect, which is created when you're able to compare the moon to other objects for scale.

"If you stretch out your arm at full length, and stretch out your thumb, and compare the size of the full moon in the sky to the size of your thumb, you'll notice the width of the full moon compared to the size of your thumb; you can put four full moons across the width of your thumb".

The supermoon will be visible until the morning of 4 December.

According to Metservice, most Kiwis will get a good view of the supermoon on Monday night.

While the supermoon can come out looking larger in photos (thanks to long lenses and editing) than it does when looking at it in person, Nichols says it is an incredible opportunity to get people interested in science and astronomy.

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